The Portrait. Photography as a Stage

The Portrait. Photography as a Stage, From Robert Mapplethorpe to Nan Goldin, July 3 – October 18, 2009, Kunsthalle Wien, Wien, Austria.

“The Portrait” sketches the development of the photographic portrait from the 1980s until today, examining the numerous forms of relationship between the photographer and the photographed and concentrating both on the self-presentation of the subject in front of the camera and the mise-en-scène by the person behind it. Thematic nodes such as glamour and self-portrait, snapshot and presentation, anonymity and intimacy, stardom and society reveal stylistic and iconographic strands springing from different approaches to capturing the image of man. The subject’s value in terms of representability and the photographer’s gaze at his carefully selected or incidentally found “object” intertwine in the pictures of a portrait gallery encompassing icons of society besides unknown individuals. The camera lens both masks and unmasks what if focuses on.

Tina Barney, Valérie Belin, Dirk Braeckman, Clegg & Guttmannn, Anton Corbijn, Andrea Cometta, Rineke Dijkstra, Amy Elkins, JH Engström, Bernhard Fuchs, Alberto Garcia-Alix, Luigi Gariglio, Anthony Gayton, Nan Goldin, Greg Gorman, Katy Grannan, Jitka Hanzlova, Peter Hujar, Jean-Baptiste Hyunh, Gerhard Klocker, Andreas Mader, Robert Mapplethorpe, Helmut Newton, Judith Joy Ross, Thomas Ruff, Stefano Scheda, Beat Streuli, Jürgen Teller, Wolfgang Tillmans, Helen van Meene