Conflict, Time, Photography at Museum Folkwang presents the many facets of the artistic portrayal of armed conflicts using the medium of photography.
Artists such as Don McCullin, Pierre-Antony-Thouret, Simon Norfolk, Stephen Shore, Michael Schmidt and Taryn Simon have depicted acts of war and their legacy, in photographs taken in the moment of the action, as well as days, months, years, and even decades after the event. This major group exhibition has no intention of serving as a "history of war photography," however. It instead explores the various possibilities and strategies that artists and photographers have adopted to try to come to terms with violent conflict, in the hope of overcoming it. On show are some 125 works ranging from a period of just over 150 years in the history of photography, from 1855 to 2013.
The exhibition has been staged in association with London's Tate Modern and is startling not just for its content, but also for the order in which the works are hung. The press photographs and artworks study acts of aggression and theatres of war, as well as their visible consequences and social legacy. They are arranged, not by artist or period, but according to how long after the event they were created; starting with eyewitness photographs taken in the thick of the action, to the works of historical documentarians tracing the conflicts of the 19th century, and on to the commemorative works of the 20th and early 21st century that revisit the scenes of battle decades later.
An impressive highlight in the exhibition is the room dedicated to the London Archive of Modern Conflict. Drawing from its extensive collection of historical photographs, objects, posters, flyers, and manuscripts, the display brings together private snapshots, official propaganda images, historical military equipment, and other objects from the First and Second World War to form an all-enveloping multimedia installation.
The show has been expanded by an additional section for the Essen presentation, devoted to press images of the Ruhr region directly after the Second World War. Local and regional photographers such as Ruth Hallensleben, Willy van Heekern and Albert Renger-Patzsch joined the ranks of foreign photojournalists, among them René Burri, and Margaret Bourke-White, to portray the devastated cities and their residents in the immediate aftermath of the capitulation.
Participating artists: Anonymous, Jules Andrieu, Pierre Antony-Thouret, Nobuyoshi Araki, George N. Barnard, Margaret Bourke-White, Frank Breuer, Bruckmann Verlag, Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin, René Burri, Hermann Claasen, Luc Delahaye, Chloe Dewe Mathews, Ken Domon, Matsumoto Eiichi, Hugo Friedrich Engel, Roger Fenton, Toshio Fukada, Jim Goldberg, Ruth Hallensleben, Willy van Heekern, Rudolf Herz, Dieter Hinrichs, Kenji Ishiguro, Kikuji Kawada, János Kender & Harry Shunk, Peter Kleu, An-My Lê, Jerzy Lewczyński, Emeric Lhuisset, Agata Madejska, Diana Matar, Susan Meiselas, Angela Milden, Don McCullin, Simon Norfolk, João Penalva, Richard Peter, Walid Raad, Jo Ractliffe, Albert Renger-Patzsch, Sophie Ristelhueber, George Rodger, Julian Rosefeldt, August Sander, Michael Schmidt, Karl Hugo Schmölz, Ursula Schulz-Dornburg, Hrair Sarkissian, Indre Šerpytyte, Stephen Shore, Taryn Simon, Josef Stoffels,Wolf Strache, Shomei Tomatsu, Hiromi Tsuchida, Nick Waplington, Jane & Louise Wilson, Franz Wiese, Sasaki Yuichiro
An exhibition organised by Tate Modern, in association with the Museum Folkwang, Essen, and the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden.
Sponsored by the Savings Bank Finance Group, consisting of Sparkasse Essen and Sparkassen-Kulturfonds des Deutschen Sparkassen- und Giroverbandes.