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Performing for the Camera

Curated by Simon Baker, Senior Curator, Tate Modern with Fiontán Moran, Assistant Curator, Tate Modern. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue from Tate Publishing and a programme of talks and events in the gallery.

Curated by Simon Baker, Senior Curator, Tate Modern with Fiontán Moran, Assistant Curator, Tate Modern. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue from Tate Publishing and a programme of talks and events in the gallery.

Excellences & Perfections (Instagram Update, 8th July 2014), (#itsjustdifferent)1
Amalia Ulman
Excellences & Perfections (Instagram Update, 8th July 2014),(#itsjustdifferent)
2015
Courtesy the Artist & Arcadia Missa

Performing For the Camera examines the relationship between photography and performance from the 19th century to today. From posed pictures of 150 years ago to selfies, and serious art to the humour of the quick improvised pose, over 500 images explore our relationship to our own image.

ID 110
Eikoh Hosoe, b 1933
Simmon: A Private Landscape, 1971
Eikoh Hosoe courtesy of the artist, Akio Nagasawa Gallery | Publishing (Tokyo) and Jean-Kenta Gauthier (Paris)
© The artist

Yves Klein’s live painting/performance work Anthropometrie de l’epoque blue 1960 will feature, plus other key works from the 60s by Yayoi Kusama, Marta Minujín and Niki de Saint Phalle. Many rarely seen images will be on display.

ID 244 jpeg
Claude Cahun, 1894 – 1954
Self Portrait
1927
Image courtesy of the Wilson Centre for Photography

The exhibition will focus on collaborations between artists and performers. For example, photographs from Nadar’s studio in 19th century Paris show the famous mime artist Charles Deburau acting out poses as the character ‘Pierrot’. Later works drawing on this same idea include Eikoh Hosoe’s Kamataichi, a collaboration with the choreographer and founder of the Butoh movement Tatsumi Hijikata.

ID 307 1
Boris Mikhailov b.1938
Crimean Snobbism, 1982
Courtesy of the artist and Sprovieri Gallery, London.
© Boris Mikhailov

The construction of self-identity and posing is explored through iconic works by Claude Cahun, Man Ray and Cindy Sherman, as well as more recent projects like Samuel Fosso’s African Spirits 2008, in which the artist photographs himself in the guise of iconic figures like Martin Luther King Jr and Miles Davis.

SCN_0061
Masahisa Fukase
From Window
1974
Courtesy Michael Hoppen Gallery
© Masahisa Fukase Archives

Identity and self-image were also important for artists like Jeff Koons and Andy Warhol in their own marketing and promotional photographs, and in more playful works like Mike Mandel’s Baseball Photographer Trading Cards 1974 in which photographers pose as ‘collectable’ baseball players.

18 February – 12 June 2016
Tate Modern, The Eyal Ofer Galleries, Level 3
Sponsored by Hyundai Card
(a company enthusiastic about art and design)
Additional support from Tate International Council and Tate Patrons
Admission £14.50 (£12.70 concessions) or £16.00 (£14.00 concessions) with Gift Aid donation
Open daily 10.00 – 18.00 and until 22.00 on Friday and Saturday
For public information: +44 (0)20 7887 8888
tate.org.uk