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Intelligence Performing for the Camera

In Performing for the Camera, the Tate Modern showcases works by over 50 seminal photographers in order to explore the performative side of photography. With sections ranging from the documentation and staging of performance pieces to public relations and performing real life, the museum does a wonderful job of thematically organizing a sprawling medium.

The exhibition is packed with thought provoking combinations of and reflections on the intertwining relationship between artist and camera. One example of this is the inclusion of the art historically significant image Self Portrait as a Drowned Man (1840) by Hippolyte Bayard and the performative Instagram images of Amalia Ulman. Both works validate and give context to our selfie-obsessed culture at different ends of photography’s technological evolution.

With over 500 works including photographs from art world superstars such as Andy Warhol and Cindy Sherman next to lesser known photographers, the exhibition is incredibly informative and entertaining. The thoughtful curation manages to draw strong connections globally and temporally while forcing the viewer to confront their own involvement in today’s world of widespread amateur photography.

Credit for Thumbnail:

Performing for the Camera Tate Modern, 18 February – 12 June 2016

Installation views of Performing for the Camera, Tate Modern

18 February – 12 June 2016

Courtesy of Tate Photography: © Joe Humphrys, Tate Photography

Performing for the Camera 3

Ekaterina: Mariage à Loèche-les-Bains (Marriage in Leukerbad) by Romain Mader, 1988 ©Romain Mader / ECAL

Performing for the Camera 2
Excellences & Perfections (Instagram Update, 8th July 2014),(#itsjustdifferent) by Amalia Ulman, 2015 Courtesy the Artist & Arcadia Missa

Performing for the Camera 4
Crimean Snobbism by Boris Mikhailov, 1982 Courtesy of the artist and Sprovieri Gallery, London. © Boris Mikhailov

Performing for the Camera
Marker Cones by Jimmy De Sana, 1982 Medium C-print on paper © Courtesy of Wilkinson Gallery, London and The Estate of Jimmy De Sana

Performing for the Camera 5
From Window by Masahisa Fukase, 1974 © Masahisa Fukase Archives. Courtesy Michael Hoppen Gallery.

Posted by
Max Tobias