“The exhibition impressively shows how strongly one can associate one's own life with foreign photos. Photography offers the viewer the opportunity to question their own origins, and sometimes subconscious aspects of their own personality are brought to light.”

Madleine Brühl, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 18.07.2019



Duration: July 13 – September 22, 2019

Opening: Friday, July 12, 2019, 7 pm


Gallery talk

​​​​​​​with Michel Campeau and Celina Lunsford

Saturday, July 13, 3 pm

Curator tours

Sunday, July 28, 2019, 3 pm

Sunday, September 15, 2019, 3 pm

Obsessed with photography – that is Michel Campeau in the very best sense. The Canadian photographer explored the medium of photography throughout his artistic career. With passion and always new questions: How and why do we photograph? What do photographs reveal about everyday traditions, family and identity? How has photography influenced the way we look at ourselves? What remains analogue in our digital age? Under the title THE DONKEY THAT BECAME A ZEBRA: DARKROOM STORIES the Fotografie Forum Frankfurt presents different bodies of work that demonstrate Campeau’s cravings for a multi-faceted play with photography.

The focus is on Campeau's often tongue-in-cheek principle: he constructs his biography with his own images as well as others'. On view are prints photographed, collected and reproduced by Campeau, including insights into darkrooms and photographs of photographic accessories. The exhibition, curated by Celina Lunsford, presents the transformation from analogue to multimedia photography – and Michel Campeau's fascination for the time before digital intoxication. 

Michel Campeau (*1948, Montreal) has been internationally active for more than 40 years. His documentary project “Disraeli: une expérience humaine en photographie” (1973) was the prelude to his unique practice of exploring the subjective, narrative and ontological aspects of the medium of photography. With the beginning of digital photography, he photographed the dwindling classical photo labs. At the same time, he began to collect amateur photography from Canada and elsewhere and to shape his own creative path with third party photography. His goal was to get closer to the motifs behind the photographic work of others – and thus to his own desire to tell the world in pictures. 

Michel Campeau is regarded as one of the most important photographers of his generation because of his versatile work. His works have been exhibited many times, including the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (2014) and Centre Pompidou, Paris (2015), and can be found in many collections, including the Musée Nicéphore Niépce, Chalon-sur-Saône and the Folkwang Museum, Essen.

The book “The Donkey that Became a Zebra: Darkroom Storieswill be published by MCÉ publishing house, with texts by Joan Fontcuberta and Michel Campeau, among others. The book is also available in the Fotografie Forum Frankfurt.

    “MICHEL CAMPEAU. THE DONKEY THAT BECAME A ZEBRA: DARKROOM STORIES” is an FFF exhibition, curated by Celina Lunsford. The project is supported by the Embassy of Canada, Berlin and Feith Stiftung. 

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