I and the Others

10. June 2000 to 6. August 2000

I and the Others

The exhibition I and the Others discussed the influence which modern mass media, such as television, radio, advertisements and internet have on our personality. 

The omnipresent aesthetics of television, music videos, advertisements, internet etc. often reinforce an (un)consciousness about the expression of the body and the demand for individuality. The exhibition I and the others discussed the influence these media have on our personality. Can the photographic portrait capture the human behind its mask-like shamming and stereotype role playing games? We often act in front of a camera as if we were looking in a mirror. We usually try to correct the mirror image by shaping our sense of reality to fit the way we see things. 

The exhibition I and the others tried to investigate how the media, like a second nature influences the modern way of life. A common theme in most of the eight artist's photo and video works was showing how body attitudes echo modern or old myths. What was analysed and kept in view was the close physical awareness of the models and how this compared with the role models from film, propaganda and advertisements, as they see them.

The object of the artistic reflection was not just the forms of expression we know from media rhetoric, but also the voyeuristic aspect of photography or making film, the relationship between the viewer and the model in the reproduction and the invention of identity and information. 

Rineke Dijkstra (Holland) actualised the psychological condition of the teenager. Her works emphasised the emotional fragility of the teenager, caught in the phase between child and adult. Rineke Dijkstra brought forward the difference between individual dreams and reality - and with this the fragile nature of what we call identity.

Dunja Evers (Germany) concentrated on the face in her works, where she let mouth, nose and eyes run together in soft contours. Individual features were transformed into something icon-like. The enigmatic expressions on Dunja Evers' almost monochrome portraits gave a metaphysical quality. The artist saw the portrait as a field for associations, where how one senses the pictures changes the longer one sees the motif. 

In the German Isabell Heimerdinger's two hour long video installation Terri watching Gloria again, the actress Terri sits in a sofa watching John Cassavetes' gangster film Gloria. The viewer can only hear the sound track of the film. While Terri in a reproductive way tries to learn Gloria's character, the viewer sees the film through Terri's reactions. The theme was the presentational forms of the movie industry in Hollywood and the way in which the dream factory influences our sense of identity. 

In the Austrian Richard Hoeck's work Belly Dancer (to Martin Klippenberger), a Turkish belly dancer danced to the sound of oriental music, while she viewed an imaginary audience. She was apparently uninfluenced by the camera and the recording of her movements, but there were still moments where her tenseness in playing roles became apparent. 

Zóltan Jókay (Germany) usually photographs children and young people in public areas. Zóltan Jókays has an interest in the accidental "disarming" chance moments where those who are portrayed seem to forget their stereotype patterns of behaviour. It was the artist's intention to create portraits with an immediacy, without revealing anything about the situation they were created in. 

The Russian Boris Mikhailov's works were based on the social conditions in his home town Charkow in the Ukraine. For several years the artist has documented changes in post soviet life and the decaying political myths. Boris Mikhailov sees himself as a street photographer "continually searching for political symbols". 

Ursula Rogg (Germany) is often concerned with the culture of talk-shows. How do people act in front of the camera? In one of the exhibited series, Surprise Chefs, the artist followed "ordinary" people, who let themselves be filmed in their own homes, while a TV-chef prepared a meal for them. "People become show guests in their own homes, and became very conscious about themselves, their appearance and their surroundings", says the artist. 

Matthias Wähner (Germany) reacted to the war coverage of Kosovo in the Spring of 1999 with his work Warshots. His installation consisted of hundreds of examples of homepages on the Internet about the war, from private individuals to the official homepages of the warring parties. The mixture of objective fact and manipulated information on these homepages made it almost impossible to orient oneself. 

The exhibition was organized by the German art historican dr. Ulrich Pohlmann, director of the Photographic Museum, Münchner Stadtmuseum at the at the suggestion of Ursula Blicke Stiftung. 

The exhibition has been shown on both the Ursula Blicke Stiftung and the Photographic Museum, Münchner Stadtmuseum.