LUXEMBOURG.- The Centre national de laudiovisuel
in Luxembourg (CNA) is opening a major new space dedicated to photography. On 29 September 2012 the centre will launch Waassertuerm and Pomhouse, featuring two exhibition galleries created in the unusual setting of an industrial water tower (Waassertuerm) and its adjacent pumping station (Pomhouse) as part of the CNA extension project on the grounds of a former neighbouring steel plant.
The water tower, with its stunning circular gallery, will become the permanent home of Edward Steichens exhibition The Bitter Years 1935-1941, curated in 1962 for the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York with a selection of images from the Farm Security Administration. In the context of labour and migration, in the town of Dudelange, one of Luxembourgs historic industrial centres, The Bitter Years, with its compelling view of rural America during the Great Depression, will acquire new meaning. Fifty years after its first viewing at MoMA, the historic collection provides the corner stone for reflections about contemporary image making, and Pomhouse, the handsomely renovated former pumping station, offers the framework for an ongoing dialogue between past and present interpretations of the ever evolving medium of photography.
Pomhouse will put on a range of temporary exhibitions, the first of which will be Coexistence, a site-specific work by British contemporary artist Stephen Gill. Gills work will provide a poetic reflection upon the changing region and city. Together, Waassertuerm and Pomhouse offer an important new platform for photography
The Centre national de laudiovisuel (CNA) was created in 1989, its main missions being to conserve and honour the national photography, film and sound heritage from Luxembourg. The institute actively collects and archives film, photography and sound documents from a broad range of origins. Today, the photography collection comprises over two hundred thousand documents and testifies to the the richness of past and contemporary photographic practices and image creation in Luxembourg.
The CNA safeguards and displays two Steichen collections from MoMA, NY: The Bitter Years and The Family of Man. The Family of Man, the most popular exhibition in the history of photography, seen by over 10 million visitors since its creation in 1955, is on permanent display in another exhibition space of the CNA located in Clervaux, in the north of Luxembourg (reopening in June 2013).
Edward Steichen was born in 1879 in Bivange, Luxembourg. The two MoMA exhibitions were bequeathed to the Luxembourg Government upon Steichens special request.