Exhibition

RAY 2021: IDEOLOGIES
Akinbode Akinbiyi, Johanna Diehl, Qiana Mestrich

Duration: June 03 – September 12, 2021



RAY 2021 FESTIVAL 

September 1st–3rd, 2021, at RAY 2021 Festival hub, Museum Angewandte Kunst, Schaumainkai 17, 60594 Frankfurt am Main

As one of the five central exhibition venues of RAY 2021, the international Triennial of photographic arts in Frankfurt/Rhine-Main, the FFF shows works by Akinbode AkinbiyiJohanna Diehl and Qiana Mestrich. Under the motto »After IDEOLOGIES« all three photo artists directly or indirectly explore ideologies that have influenced their own biography and the identity of entire societies.

Akinbode Akinbiyi (*1946, UK/NI) observes the changing life in urban spaces as a wanderer with his camera – in Africa and also in Berlin, where he has lived for decades. In his series Sea Never Dry, African Quarter and Lagos: All Roads, the globally active artist directs his gaze to unspectacular street scenes – and in them to traces of past and present ideologies from religion, politics or economics. With their very own aesthetic, his works show quotidian activities in places that have outlived systems of oppression or live side by side with evolving ideologies.

Akinbode Akinbiyi was commissioned by RAY to create work in Frankfurt during March and April of 2021, which will be premiered in the RAY exhibition at the FFF.


Johanna Diehl (*1977, DE) focusses on places and objects that were part of complex political and social upheavals. In doing so she examines to what extent the original purposes are present and to what extent their absence still remains. In the work Ein ruhiger Tag, the artist transfers her grandmother's diaries into a conceptual work about the silence and the unsaid in the record of a family’s life. In her works The Imaginary Studios, Eurotopians and Cults of Performance, Diehl presents the impact of ideologies on design and music, architecture and interiors in the second half of the 20th century.


With her latest work “Thrall”, Qiana Mestrich (*1977, US), first-generation American and multi-disciplinary artist, participates in the political and cultural discussions on white supremacy and black consciousness. Mestrich stages photographs, some with her family, to interrogate racism and cultural ideologies of beauty. She uses materials such as hair, plants or chicken bones in unfamiliar constellations, challenging the viewer to see things different. The “Namesake” series, also on view, is a typological work based on photos of women also named Qiana that the artist found online while researching the origin of her own name. On the occasion of RAY 2021 the FFF premiers Qiana Mestrich‘s work in Germany. 

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To collaborate and highlight the outstanding potential of artistic photography in the Frankfurt/RhineMain region is the principle of the Triennial RAY Fotografieprojekte Frankfurt/RheinMain. The fourth edition of RAY from June 03–September 12, 2021 will be dedicated to the theme of IDEOLOGIES, with exhibitions, events and a RAY Festival. 

Ray 2021 (Website)

    The international Triennial RAY Fotografieprojekte Frankfurt/RheinMain was founded in 2010 on the initiative of the Kulturfonds Frankfurt RheinMain in order to bring together and highlight the competence and diversity of photographic art in Frankfurt and the Rhine/Main region. Since its first edition RAY 2012 the unique collaboration features and produces international examples of contemporary photography and related media every three-years. 

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