September 24, 2021 – January 30, 2022
FORUM 051: Jonathan Danko Kielkowski – Aesthetics of Failure
Forum 051, with photographs by Jonathan Danko Kielkowski (born 1988), joins forces with the “Grand Tour XXL” exhibition. This is a photographer who, like Korneev, loves to travel and finds his motifs in man-made architecture, derelict of function and totally abandoned, now standing as an involuntary monument and a timely reminder of the unbridled appropriation of natural habitats by industrial progress. In Pyramiden, an abandoned Soviet mining settlement on Spitsbergen, he descends into the icy caverns of former mines, and discovers bizarre and morbid structures melding nature and technology. Kielkowski also turns his lens on ruins in Italy. However, the Nuremberg-based photographer, rather than depict vestiges of Antiquity, prefers Genoa, where he inveigled his way onto the cruise ship Costa Concordia which had been wrecked in 2012. This cruiser, a modern temple to an increasingly mobile entertainment-obsessed society, had been the scene of tragedy. Kielkowski was able to take a series of impressive, eerie photos of the ship shortly before it was finally scrapped.
His images are not objective journalistic visual documents – rather they are imbued with an aesthetic of failure and bear silent witness to the pitfalls besetting technological progress and (over-)ambitious visions of the future.