Engaging the theme of Currency from multiple perspectives, the 8th Triennial of Photography Hamburg opens on May 20, 2022, with 12 exhibitions and over 70 artists. From colonial-era photo albums to poetic reveries, experimental modes, and social documentary photography, the exhibitions explore the myriad ways in which photographs are produced, circulated, and interpreted.

The Exhibition Parcours through Hamburg were developed by artistic director Koyo Kouoh and her curatorial team alongside the curators of 10 partner museums and venues in the city. The exhibitions are accompanied by two expansive programs consisting of artist talks, performances, tours, panel discussions, and film screenings. These will take place during the Triennial’s Opening Weekend (May 20–22) and its festival the following month, The Register and the Recital (June 2–6).

After more than a century of living with photography, we have learned to perceive the world “photographically,” with many of us seeing the world in image formats shaped by the media platforms that host these images. While images themselves are unstable forms, the mental repository we build through this prosthetic mode fundamentally shapes how we engage with the world around us. The present day is therefore a “retinal era”; one that requires a different grammar for looking, reading, and responding to images.

Koyo Kouoh, Artistic Director for the 8th Triennial of Photography Hamburg

Among the 12 exhibitions in the Triennial are Currency: Photography Beyond Capture at the Deichtorhallen Hamburg, which explores 29 poetic and critical approaches to photography in the “retinal age” of visual immediacy and media saturation; two shows at Bucerius Kunst Forum and Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg on the work and queer aesthetics of photographer Herbert List; the group exhibition Give and Take: Images upon Images at the Hamburger Kunsthalle, which investigates questions of circulation and transformation; and a show at the Museum der Arbeit dedicated to the visual iconography of key labor movements.

To learn more, visit phototriennale.de.