Gili Tal: Mastering the Nikon D750

Organizer: gta Exhibitions
Date: Wednesday, 16 October 2019 to Wednesday, 11 December 2019 — Opening: Tuesday, 15 October 2019, 6 pm
Location: ETH Zurich, Hönggerberg

Photos: Nelly Rodriguez

Tuesday, 15 October 2019, 6 pm
ETH Zurich, Hönggerberg
5.30 pm: Walk through the exhibition with Freek Persyn, Gabrielle Schaad, Li Tavor and Nina Zschocke, moderated by Fredi Fischli and Niels Olsen

Gili Tal
Mastering the Nikon D750

This autumn, gta exhibitions is presenting the first institutional solo show of the artist Gili Tal.

For a few years now Tal has been taking photographs in and around urban areas that to an extent, imitate what she perceived to be a certain style of “architectural” photography and its various tricks and tropes. Conceived in response to an invitation to exhibit her photographs with gta, the show will comprise a series of them scaled up to become free-standing billboards that will be spread throughout the Department of Architecture’s hallways and foyers. 

The photographs depict the kind of “moments” of what should otherwise be everyday life, that a Time Out contractor, or equally an estate agent, might pick up on: flower markets, bustling squares, monuments to see, activities to do. In the blink of an eye, or indeed by virtue of an asymmetrical camera angle here and there and not much else, perfectly banal instances might become, it is hoped, cosmic bearers of that ever-illusive yet apparently much sought-after moment of frisson. Going by any other name this moment might be called “surplus value”, and, squaring up to the task of “leaving no stone unturned” in the search for it, the photographs in some ways become a means for seeing how far this kind of wanton transmutation from use to exchange value can be taken in its application. Or at least this seems to be the way that park benches, hand-rails etc, somehow become embroiled in the exhausting process that is the work of soliciting endless awe. Placing blame with the bearer of such a gaze rather than its subjects, the photographs reflect the kind of ongoing processes whereby public goods or spaces are slowly denaturalised and how, once eulogised and set in this glistening dream world, the path towards their later dispossession might be furtively set on its way, and, in terms of plunder anyway, where this might end up.

Gili Tal (b.1983) lives in London. Recent solo exhibitions include Civic Virtues, Cabinet, London (2018); Roaming, Jenny’s, Los Angeles (2016), Paris Gardens London, Goton, Paris (2016); 6A Minerva St, Vilma Gold, London (2015); Agonisers, Temnikova & Kasela, Tallinn (2015); and Panoramic Views of the City, Sandy Brown, Berlin (2014). She has participated in numerous group exhibitions including Swiss Institute, New York; LUMA Foundation, Zurich; 500 Capp Street Foundation, San Francisco; Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, Salt Lake City; Glasgow International, Scotland; and Kunstverein Munich, Germany. She is the current recipient of the 2019 Laurenz-Haus Stiftung Residency in Basel.

Main sponsor of the exhibition: Forbo Flooring Systems