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Photography today: Private public relations
June 15 til October 7, 2018

Pinakothek der Moderne | Sammlung Moderne Kunst 

How do we experience the public sphere in a globalized, messy and digitally augmented world? And what does photography have to do with this experience?

This exhibition is the second in the series "Photography Today – Artistic Photography in the Digital Age", initiated in 2016 at the Pinakothek der Moderne. It is concerned with the relationship between photographic images – both moving and still – and that which can be broadly labeled as "public:" the social sphere and its infrastructures. The Internet, social media and other digital technologies have changed not only photography but also the ways we think about and perceive public space. The artworks in "Private Public Relations" relate to this space while considering it from a personal point of view, through the medium of photography. Proximity and distance, intimacy and anonymity co-exist in these works as they grapple with an expanding social territory comprising the people we connect to on a global scale, the online and offline communities in which we live, and the institutions and platforms that define the rules by which we live together and engage with each other. In the age of Facebook and Instagram, all communications are bound to the profiles of individuals. The personal lingers on as a continuous subtext that shows up in the form of likes, emojis, and comments. Information in a social-media feed always relates back to an "I". Given the new reality of personal-public relations and the powerful role photographs have played in its construction, many artists, who work with photography, are now looking at the world from a more personal perspective in an attempt to come to terms with the fragmented and polarized global social sphere. In the works of these artists, photography has taken a relational, social turn – one that is characterized by a subjective relationship to the image.


Fig.: Sadie Benning, rainy day/gender 1, 2017, Courtesy the artist, Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects und Mary Boone, New York. Foto: Chris Austin © Sadie Benning.


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