Photoszene Co-Labs!
12 May—11 June 2023
Opening: Fri 12 May, 8 p.m.


With works by Seba Calfuqueo, Felipe Castelblanco with Ñambi Rimai Media Collective and Lydia Zimmermann, Carolina Caycedo, Beate Gütschow, Mitsutoshi Hanaga, Olga Holzschuh, SU Yu Hsin, Lito Kattou, Clara Kulemeyer, Optics Division of the Metabolic Studio (Lauren Bon, Tristan Duke, and Richard Nielsen) and Lara Tabet.

Curated by Nada Rosa Schroer.

Opening hours: Tue—Fri: 4—8 p.m., Sat+Sun: 12—6 p.m.

If we were to listen to water, what would it tell us? The exhibition Vibrant Waters focuses all senses on the element of water and explores its use for photographic image production. Water is used historically and currently in large quantities for photography, including in the extraction of precious metals and rare earths, in the semiconductor industry, or for cooling server farms. On view are artistic positions that question the extractivist understanding of the element as a resource.

At the same time, the exhibition incorporates a decolonial view of water. In non-Western cosmologies, the aliveness of all matter is fundamental to an understanding of interconnectedness. Water bodies have an interdependent relationship to all other bodies. The works presented in the exhibition allow water to emerge as a vibrant, social, and aesthetic force. They document how it brings communities together in resistance to the loss of livelihoods, explore methods of image production built on the more-than-human collaboration of rivers, or speculate on posthuman beings watching over toxic waters.

Highlighting current social issues and presenting contemporary artistic trends in photography has always been an integral part of the Photoszene Festival's programmatic focus. Building on the think tank "We Do/Are Photography", which prepared this year's festival and took place in Cologne in October 2022, curated exhibitions were developed in cooperation with Cologne's independent scene and invited curators with the Photoszene Co-Labs! For the 2023 edition, Photoszene is pleased to collaborate closely with Temporary Gallery and Gemeinde Köln, Gold + Beton, Labor, Mouches Volantes and the Michael Horbach Foundation.

Photoszene Co-Labs! reflect on climate change with a specific focus on water as a resource in a group exhibition at Temporary Gallery, curated by Nada Rosa Schroer. They map interpretations and meaning of body images in a curatorial conception by Donja Nasseri in the four art spaces at Ebertplatz - Gemeinde Köln, Gold + Beton, Labor and Mouches Volantes. And they show the transformation of photographic images under the influence of advancing digitalization and technologization in the art spaces of the Michael Horbach Foundation - the first exhibition of the Photoscene, which developed from an open call and was selected by a jury, curated by Dana Bergmann and Alexander Hagmann.

Exhibition programme

Stop being a threat, start being a promise!
Think & Dream Tank on the role of art in times of climate emergency
13.05.2023, 5—6:30 p.m., Temporary Gallery (in German and English)

With Maria Teresa Salvati (curator Everything is Connected), Miriam Szwast (curator Museum Fotografie und Ökologie, Museum Ludwig) and Sergen Canoglu (expert on climate justice, former district spokesman DIE LINKE Cologne)
Registration until 13.05. at

Vibrant Encounters — Art meets Environmental Humanities meets Hydrology

17.05., 6 p.m. (in German and English)

Trialogic tour through the exhibition with Pınar Pamukçu Albers (Hydrologist, University of Bonn), Sandro Simon (anthropologist, University of Cologne), moderated by Nada Rosa Schroer

Hydrofeminism — what?

20.05., 5—6:30 p.m.

Multisensory guided tour through the exhibition with Anna Döbbelin (art educator), Nina Paszkowski & Nada Rosa Schroer (Project FLUID CIRCULATIONS)

Ebb, Flow, Interruption — Video Screening with works by Michael Lees, Lisandro Suriel and Taisha Carrington

26.05., 7—9 p.m., Temporary Gallery (in English)

Curated by Sour Grass (Annalee Davis and Holly Bynoe), moderated by Nada Rosa Schroer

Hydrosocial Worlds — Photo tour to the Rhine

02.—03.06., all day (in English)

With Olga Roszkowska (artist and lecturer Academy of Art, The Hague / Photography & Society)
Registration until 31.05. at

On Becoming a Water Guardian — Walk through Sürther Aue

04.06., 12—3:30 p.m., Meeting point 11:45 a.m. at train station Godorf (in German and English)

Exchange with picnic and walk through the Sürther Aue with Zakole Kollektiv (artist & swamp activist collective/ Warsaw), Cecylia Malik (artist & river activist/ Warsaw) and the AG Sürther Aue of BUND, Cologne. The event is not barrier-free. Registration until 03.06. at


Hydrographies — Art meets Environmental Humanities
04.06., 5—5:45 p.m. (in German and English)

Trialogue in the exhibition with Franz Krause (river anthropologist, University of Cologne), Alejandro Camargo (environmental scientist, Universidad del Norte, Columbia) and Nada Rosa Schroer

Vibrant particles in the water — Anthropological and philosophical thoughts on sediments and fluvial life

04.06., 5:45—6:30 p.m. (in English)

Lecture by Alejandro Camargo

What could / should art do?

06.06., 5:30—8 p.m. (in German and English)

Artist talk with Clara Kulemeyer, Felipe Castelblanco and Cecylia Malik, followed by exchange and networking meeting on art, environment & activism, moderated by Nada Rosa Schroer


Lito Kattou, San, Point Centre for Contemporary Art 2018. Skins & Feathers VIII, 2018 (Detail) © Nikos Alexopoulos