Galleri Fabriksg. 48
In collaboration with Maja Franzén
True Colors examines the way norms and values played a role in the development of photographic materials in history, particularly prejudices inherent in the production of color film. With a combination of found images and artifacts of photographic equipment the exhibition draws attention to what choices the color film industry made in the past. For decades, color film was better suited to expose white skin and had difficulties to render black skin. It wasn’t until the 80’s that the market leader Kodak Company tried to change this with a new film stock, launched by the disguised slogan ‘Show your true colors’.
In the installation True Colors, a loupe is given to the visitors to look at photonegatives on light tables attached to the wall. The negatives are so called ‘Shirley cards’, a norm reference image depicting a white Western woman, that was used to calibrate skin tones in most photo labs. Sound and images from Kodak’s ‘Show your true colors’ TV commercials are highly present in the exhibition room. On a freestanding light table the visitors are invited to ‘consume color’ from cups of Jello, referring to the color layers in film rolls which are made from gelatine .