March 2021

#LeporellowednesdaytakeoverThrough the book(s) Wednesday March 24th, 4 pm - 8 pm,

Lukas Birk, Fraglich books

Inspired by the fascinating project Fernweh – an archive, curated by Natasha Christia, and finally triggered by Fraglich Publishing last publication, the Myanmar Photo Archive we proposed to Lukas Birk to let us make a trip through his books to delve into a journey across generations, archives and places.

In Fernweh – an archive, storyteller, artist and collector Lukas Birk repurposes his extensive personal collection, which is comprised of visual recollections of journeys that took place over the span of seven decades in the Balkans, the Middle East and Asia, to discuss notions such as the birth of an artist; home and voyage versus photography; the trappings of (male) identity; and last but least, the ultimate destiny of a collection.
From vernacular to fine art photography and from the intimacy of the family album to ruthless public exposure, the product of this operation is a novel archival assemblage, both real and imaginary at heart, featuring prints, family albums, journals, anonymous photographs, maps and various objects.

Fernweh – an archive unfolds as a fascinating remix that takes us to a journey through a non-linear space and time: departing from Austria, we are transferred through World War II and late post-war Balkans to 1970s-1980s Syria, 2000s Afghanistan and Pakistan, and then back home. A remix of all sorts, it unwraps the lifetime of three generations of men: grandfather Viktor Birk who served as a soldier in the unified army forces of Nazi Germany during World War II, father Andreas Birk, a hippy traveller and adventurer of the 1970s-1980s; and, finally, Lukas himself, a contemporary wanderer and artist. The three of them share a passion for traveling and photography, and the mountains.
(Natasha Christia)

Lukas Birk is a photographer. A storyteller. A conservator. A publisher. His work has been exhibited on 4 continents and has taken many different shapes. His multi-disciplinary projects have been turned into films, chronicles and books. A large part of Lukas’ work deals with archival material he collects while traveling or while delving into his own background. These archives are not ambiguous nor are they found images. Lukas researches his imagery through investigations and explorations very often in areas that have been affected by conflict and have not yet had the chance to present existing material in an artistic form. His narratives tackle recorded history by creating alternate storylines and fictional elements, alongside commonly accepted facts. Lukas founded artist exhibitions programs in China with the Austro Sino Arts Program, an artists in residency program in Indonesia (SewonArtSpace), co-founded the Afghan Box Camera Project and most recently the Myanmar Photo Archive, an endeavor to re-interpret and tell the story of Myanmar through collected photographs taken over the last 6 decades. The collection now holds 20.000 images. Fraglich Publishing, his own book imprint publishes projects by Lukas and selected work mainly focused around photographic history. 

Fraglich Publishing was initiated in 2007.
Until recently, it was an imprint of Lukas Birk’s own work and investigations. Since 2017, they started publishing books and editions by other artists.
Their books primarily concern photographic history with a rarely seen cultural insight, with the aim to produce and distribute the books locally before selling them abroad.
Their last effort focused on producing and distributing the publications of the Myanmar Photo Archive, the first photo book publishing endeavour to come out of Myanmar. All books are locally produced with whatever materials are available, sold locally for an adapted price so that people can afford them, and only then distributed internationally.

Hours and Infos

Wednesday March 24th, Leporello wednesday takeover + Through the book(s) #10 opening with Lukas Birk

Leporello, Via del Pigneto, 162/e – Roma