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"Tableaux Vivants: Living Pictures and Attitudes in Photography, Film, and Video"
2002-05-24 until 2002-08-25
Kunsthalle Wien, Museumsquartier
Tableaux Vivants (Living pictures), re-enacted paintings and sculptures, both historical and
contemporary, have become a staple motif in the daily flood of pictures: whether it is music videos,
commercials, or movies,…
They are an art form of their own between the theatrical and the pictorial, between performance and
silence, history and vivid presence. Tableaux Vivants reflect and interpret classical works in bodily
terms for the contemporaries. Transforming, and thus reviving, traditional imagery, they have
become a medium of social and art-immanent criticism in the 20th century.
This exhibition is an attempt, in several sections, to keep track of the history and the transformations
of the medium. It starts out with photographic pieces from the 19th century that still tried to translate
the painterly element into the aesthetics of photography (Julia Margaret Cameron). The 1920s and
30s (Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, Karl Valentin) used the living pictures to launch an attack on
classical masterpieces. In the 1960s and 70s, they get involved in the conflict of art versus everyday
life and are used in the enactment of corporeality (Piero Manzoni, Robert Morris, Timm Ulrichs a.o.),
notably so in feminist art (Carolee Schneemann, Valie Export, Hannah Wilke). Since the 1980s,
finally, they have, in the wake of postmodern theory and questions of identity, been developed in
every possible direction, from criticism to memory work and on to sheer parody, and the number of
artists who have taken to work with Tableaux Vivants is now countless.
An exhibition with works of (selection): Julia Margaret Cameron, Marcel Duchamp, René Magritte,
Man Ray, Karl Valentin, Hannah Wilke, Valie Export, Arnulf Rainer, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Pierre & Gilles,
Rodney Graham, Lisa May Post, Aernout Mik,...
Curators: Sabine Folie, Michael Glasmeier
Mrs. Donald Ross as Europa from the
National Portrait Gallery, London
(C) Yevonde Portrait