STUDY

Kill Our Icons

[person_by] Frank van der Stok

August 2021

Kill our Icons pleas for a rethinking of the iconic photos that are part of our collective memory. Kill our Icons proposes alternative images without apparent iconic value which indirectly tell more pregnant stories than the types of images calling for linear cause-and-effect explanation.

The liquidity of the digital image culture causes (new) images with iconic potential, or of monumental power of expression, to not take root anymore. We rather play a movie clip, in which a tsunami’s destructive power occurs, than look at a hundred photographic still lifes showing its devastating results. Whereas previously news service presented itself with some sort of authority, nowadays it comes down to a globalized, internetbased, do-it-yourself menu.
We must ask ourselves how tenable the static and archaic icons in our collective memory still are. The time is now that we free the visual beacons of the past, once acting as monopolists in giving guidance to the way history could be understood, from their iconic hold on us.

Kill our Icons prioritises those (alternative) images that, in spite of their apparent triviality and inferior aesthetics, know how to divert the committed spectator away from the hard news and take him to a meaningful vista on different aspects of the underlying story. It would fit our times if they may contribute, in retrospect, to a critical reconfiguring of our visual memory.
 
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Frank van der Stok
Frank van der Stok (b. 1967) is a curator, editor, essayist and intermediary for artists and art institutions. He also works as an editor and producer of artists’ books.

works

Works in This Study

HoaxLuc Delahaye (Courtesy: Luc Delahaye & Gallery Nathalie Obadia)2003

Hoax, Luc Delahaye (Courtesy: Luc Delahaye & Gallery Nathalie Obadia), 2003

Frank van der Stok

Hoax

publication

Radical Metamorphoses aims at creating unseen and unprecedented insights that may follow from the sequencing of two (or more) images, in which transformations took place overtime.  

The Other Face of ApartheidPictureNET Africa / Ken Oosterbroek1993

The Other Face of Apartheid, PictureNET Africa / Ken Oosterbroek, 1993

Frank van der Stok

Kill our Icons pleas for a rethinking of the iconic photos that are part of our collective memory. It proposes alternative images without apparent iconic value which indirectly tell more pregnant stories than the types of images calling for linear cause-and-effect explanation.  

The Kiss of DeathReporters / Associated Press / Boris Yurchenko7 October 1989

The Kiss of Death, Reporters / Associated Press / Boris Yurchenko, 7 October 1989

Frank van der Stok

1979

Kill our Icons pleas for a rethinking of the iconic photos that are part of our collective memory. Kill our Icons proposes alternative images without apparent iconic value which indirectly tell more pregnant stories than the types of images calling for linear cause-and-effect explanation.

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The other AngleCredit Terril Jones/Associated Press1989

The other Angle, Credit Terril Jones/Associated Press, 1989

Frank van der Stok

1989

In this Post-Truth era, almost every photograph seems to be speculative by nature.

Credits: Wikimedia Commons / Photographer unknownJune 28, 1914

Credits: Wikimedia Commons / Photographer unknown, June 28, 1914

Frank van der Stok

Kill our Icons pleas for a rethinking of the iconic photos that are part of our collective memory. Kill our Icons proposes alternative images without apparent iconic value which indirectly tell more pregnant stories than the types of images calling for linear cause-and-effect explanation.

Bill GanzellJune, 1979.

Bill Ganzell, June, 1979.

Frank van der Stok

Radical Metamorphoses aims at creating unseen and unprecedented insights that may follow from the sequencing of two (or more) images, in which transformations took place overtime.

'The main suspect of the Reichstag fire, Marinus van der Lubbe, at the start of the process in Leipzig.'Reporters / Associated Press, Photographer unknown1933

'The main suspect of the Reichstag fire, Marinus van der Lubbe, at the start of the process in Leipzig.', Reporters / Associated Press, Photographer unknown, 1933

Frank van der Stok

2019

Kill our Icons pleas for a rethinking of the iconic photos that are part of our collective memory. Kill our Icons proposes alternative images without apparent iconic value which indirectly tell more pregnant stories than the types of images calling for linear cause-and-effect explanation.

Courtesy of San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.2010

Courtesy of San Francisco Museum of Modern Art., 2010

Frank van der Stok

Radical Metamorphoses aims at creating unseen and unprecedented insights that may follow from the sequencing of two (or more) images, in which transformations took place overtime.

Kill our IconsCredits: Getty Images / Ken Murray1993

Kill our Icons, Credits: Getty Images / Ken Murray, 1993

Frank van der Stok

1993

The Other 9/11

publication

Kill our Icons pleas for a rethinking of the iconic photos that are part of our collective memory. Kill our Icons proposes alternative images without apparent iconic value which indirectly tell more pregnant stories than the types of images calling for linear cause-and-effect explanation.