The portrait, a key theme in the work of photography’s pioneers, is more popular than ever in the digital era. When we capture others’ faces and our own and post and share the results across our social networks, these pictures speak to an essential human characteristic—the curiosity with which we observe one another. They illustrate our own histories on several levels. Photographs of individuals and types reflect social conventions; posed pictures invite conjectures concerning the identity and individuality of the sitters and the intentions of the photographers. The encounter with a human face is intimately bound up with unexpected, novel, and personal experiences.
The new exhibition uses a review of the works that have entered the Austrian Federal Photography Collection in the past three years as an opportunity to explore the depiction of humans as a fascinating and variegated genre. It draws on the rich holdings of the collection, which is housed at the Museum der Moderne Salzburg; rather than emphasizing specific genres, the acquisitions program takes its cue from what artists working today select for submission. The show accordingly presents recent photographs together with early specimens from the collection and newcomers in dialogue with established artists.
Works by Wolfgang Bender | Renate Bertlmann | Lillian Birnbaum | Trude Fleischmann | Nilbar Güreş | Ernst Haas | Nikola Hansalik | Ana Hoffner | Sabine Jelinek | Ruth Kaaserer | Paul Kranzler | Friedl Kubelka | Ulrike Lienbacher | Michael Mauracher | Martina Mina und Sabine Schwaighofer | Inge Morath | Michaela Moscouw | Georg Petermichl | Margot Pilz | Lothar Rübelt | Hans Schabus | Christoph Scharff | Sira-Zoé Schmid | Margherita Spiluttini | Nina Rike Springer | Nikolaus Walter | Rudolf Zündel
Curators: Christiane Kuhlmann with Andrea Lehner-Hagwood