• Maurizio Cattelan
    Hollywood, 2001
    Fotografie | photo 180 x 400 cm
    Kunsthaus Zürich

true lies

lies and other truths in contemporary photography

Since its invention 150 years ago, photography had always been seen as a guarantee for true representation. The belief in the truthfulness of photography was seriously shaken for the first time in the late 1980s; it totally collapsed in the 1990s with the digital revolution in both the production and postproduction of images.

Since then, photography has conquered completely new fields. It is no longer merely a medium of reproduction, but – on a par with painting – a producing medium able to create its own reality. In contrast to painting, the photographic image no longer conveys its own genealogy. One cannot tell whether the image has reproduced reality, or entirely created it.

The exhibition "true lies. lies and other truths" in contemporary photography presents 13 actuel artistic positions who manipulate the photographic images and their claim to truth, thereby questioning our perception of truth and reality in various ways. While the results may seem similarly irritating, the strategies of artistic lies differ a lot.

Lies are propagated in differing forms and with various means: telling fake stories (Sophie Calle, Yann Toma), placing true stories in the wrong context (Slawomir Elsner), generating reality in the computer (Wolfgang Ellenrieder), presenting it as a model on a smaller scale (Lois Renner), or in full scale – but in the wrong place (Maurizio Cattelan).

Finally, also the lies of our everyday reality are subject of the works: hotels in Las Vegas (Alexander Timtschenko), gameshows and their stage scenery on television (Egbert Trogemann), or innocent people convicted by mistake to long imprisonment (Taryn Simon).

In all of the cock-and-bull stories the artists tell us there is but one truth: the truth of the created image. It forces the beholder to hone his or her critical attention towards a world of images which has become more and more complex and often unclear.

The exhibition catalogue is published in German and English and includes texts by Stefan Gronert (Kunstmuseum Bonn), Reinhard Spieler (museum franz gertsch), and Margit Zuckriegl (Österreichische Fotogalerie am Museum Rupertinum, Salzburg).

Works by

Martin Brüger (* 1965, D)

Sophie Calle (*1953, F)

Maurizio Cattelan (*1960, I)

Filipa César (* 1975, Por)

Wolfgang Ellenrieder (* 1959, D)

Slawomir Elsner (* 1976, Pl)

Lois Renner (* 1961, A)

Ursula Schulz-Dornburg (* 1938, D)

Taryn Simon (*1975, USA)

Alexander Timtschenko (* 1965, D)

Yann Toma (* 1969, F)

Egbert Trogemann (* 1954, D)

Veronika Veit (* 1968, D)

true lies