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VIRAL HALLUCINATIONS:
ANDREA OREJARENA &
CALEB STEIN

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PHOXXI 7 September 2024 — 26 January 2025

This first European solo exhibition by the New York based duo Andrea Orejarena (*1994, Colombia) and Caleb Stein (*1994, United Kingdom) presents photographs and films that deal with practices of simulation and narratives of disinformation. As an artist duo, Orejarena, a cognitive scientist and photographer, and Stein, a documentary photographer, are known for their conceptually documentary projects on individual perception and the collective construction of reality. Their works have been published in the New York Times, the Guardian, i-D, Vice, Vogue Italia, and Wallpaper*, among others.

In reaction to the growing distrust in the distinction between reality and fiction that characterizes the present, the duo began an exploratory journey through social media and photography in 2020. They have created an initial archive of over 1.500 photographs and current visual forms that manifests the influence of conspiracy narratives on American society and individual perception.

This archive of photographic forms of “alternative facts” engages in dialogue with landscape photographs by Orejarena and Stein in the installation “American Glitch”, which documents and decodes the supposed locations of conspiratorial events. By embracing traditions such as road trips and street photography, American Glitch interweaves continuities from American photographic history with the new phenomena of contemporary online culture.

Since their project “Long Time No See” (2015–2020), the duo has been working on the pressing question of what role photography can play today in the interplay of perception and imagination. Long Time No See, created in collaboration with young Vietnamese artists and veterans in Hanoi, traces the artistic engagement with current memories and consequences of the Vietnam War. In poetic portraits and landscape views, Long Time No See presents a visual exploration of the nuances between dissonant historical writings and visual forms, spanning documentation and subjective perception.

The exhibition is accompanied by image and media literacy workshops for different age groups.

On September 13, the transdisciplinary symposium "Viral Hallucinations: Visual Worlds of Disinformation" will take place in the auditorium of the Deichtorhallen. Participation is free of charge, registration is required.

The new exhibition series “Viral Hallucinations” addresses the range of documentary strategies in a globally connected “post-truth era.”


Curated by Nadine Isabelle Henrich, Curator House of Photography

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