Reconsidering Icons

Museum Weltkulturen der Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen, Mannheim, Feb 29 - April 26, 2020

Part of the Biennale für aktuelle Fotografie – The Lives and Loves of Images, 2020, curated by David Campany.

We are all acutely aware of the phenomenon of the iconic image. Newspapers and news websites regularly describe photographs as ‘iconic’. And if a photograph does become well known, news outlets are quick to capitalize by running secondary stories about its fame, which only serves to extend the image’s reach and cultural domination. It is an echo chamber of the image, and a hall of mirrors.
Of the billions of images in the world just a few have become iconic. The exhibition Reconsidering Icons contains no iconic images, and yet it is full of them. It draws together various projects from recent years that use strategies of remaking, revising and redefining. Some projects return to the site where iconic images were made. Some reconstruct them. Some track iconic images across their various media manifestations. Some use new technologies such as virtual reality and 3D modeling, to return us to images made in earlier epochs of photography. Whatever the strategy, the iconic image is approached as a complex form of cultural commons to be looked at critically, philosophically and playfully. If iconic images belong to the public imagination, we must have an imaginative relation to them.

With works by: Broomberg & Chanarin, David Claerbout, Cortis & Sonderegger, Joan Fontcuberta, Max Pinckers & Dries Depoorter, Max Pinckers & Sam Weerdmeester


You will find the room list for download here.

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