Rosa Menkman, The BLOB of im/possible images © Rosa Menkman

Rosa Menkman’s im/possible images show at the Lothringer 13

02 Aug 2021

The Lothringer 13 Halle (Munich) presents im/possible images – a group exhibition conceptualized and curated by Rosa Menkman that invites visitors to envision every imaginable and unimaginable image that could ever be rendered.

“Imagine you could obtain an ‘impossible’ image of any object or phenomenon that you think is important, with no limits on spatial, temporal, energy, signal/noise or cost resolutions. What image would you create? (the answer can be a hypothetical image, of course!)”, asked Rosa Menkman, Dutch artistic researcher, curator, and winner of the Collide Award in 2019, to every scientist she encountered during her residency at CERN and Barcelona. Drawing on her ongoing research and work in the Laboratory, im/possible images sheds light on the complex image-making technologies through which we look and perceive and the visual dominant world we live in.


In her latest publication, Beyond Resolution, Menkman proposes an extended formulation of resolution. “A resolution is not just a trade-off between settings that manage speed and functionality while considering materials affordances.” Menkman insists on, “a resolution also always involves the inherent compromise of other ways of rendering. And it is through these other ways – not (yet) implemented or supported resolutions – that we need to train to see, run and formulate our alternatives”.


This compromise is brought into the Lothringer 13 Halle, conceptualised as an imaginary ‘latent image space’. Housing all conceivable and inconceivable images, the exhibition space is divided by several render parameters, creating realms of possibility and impossibility with artworks by Menkman, Memo Akten, Peter Edwards, Sasha Engelmann & Sophie Dyer, Fabian Heller, Susan Schuppli, UCNV, and Alan Warburton.

The exhibition starts with Menkman’s BLOB (Binary Large OBject) of im/possible images – the virtual home of im/possible images collected during her Collide residency, available to explore online via New Art City. From the inside of a proton – an impossible image because of spatial resolution – to the Quantum Vacuum at a slice of Planck constant time – an impossible image that can only be imagined – the BLOB is cut by different Axes of Affordance that define what is possible to resolve and what images will never be rendered, only existing in the hypothetical space of the BLOB.

Rosa Menkman, The BLOB of im/possible images © Rosa Menkman
Rosa Menkman, The BLOB of im/possible images © Rosa Menkman
Rosa Menkman, The BLOB of im/possible images © Rosa Menkman
Rosa Menkman, The BLOB of im/possible images © Rosa Menkman

Under the green axis images based on speculation, dis/belief or imagination, which challenges the imposed biases and erroneous interpretations of image-making technologies, Menkman shows her video essay Whiteout. She narrates the loss of her physical sensations as she hikes a mountain during a snowstorm. The inability to see, hear, or orient herself, as well as the oversaturation of the environment, led the spatial dimensions, at first seemingly wiped out, to start offering themselves in new, imaginary ways.

Until 19 September, the show and programme of workshops, talks, and other activities invite us to engage with (digital) image culture and infrastructures, becoming a space for critical thought processes, speculation and knowledge production.