Trace - Formations of Likeness
Photography and Video from The Walther Collection

Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany

April 14 – July 23, 2023

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About the exhibition

The Walther Collection is pleased to present its first major survey exhibition at Haus der Kunst in Munich, Germany. With more than 3000 works on display by a diverse group of artists from a wide range of cultural backgrounds, as well as archival, documentary and vernacular photographs from the last three centuries, the exhibition offers a global context to reflect on the divergent trajectories of photography and lens-based media today. Collectively, they showcase the medium’s capacity as both an instrument for empowerment and formation of the self, as well as its complex uses as a tool for control and subjugation since its formation in the nineteenth century.

NIK 2376
Tintypes and Daguerreotypes, circa 1860 – 90s
NIK 2433
NIK 2405

The exhibition’s core focus is portrait photography — of people, objects, and places — and the tracing of societal transformation across different temporalities and localities, and contrasting geographic, socio-political and cultural landscapes. The photographic portrait is deployed as a performative mode to formulate and shape identity, to document communities and spaces, to advocate for social change and justice, and as a subversive strategy for visibility, often through intimate investigations of politics of representation and embodiment, memory and history, nationality and belonging. The substantial breadth and dialogical scope of the exhibition brings together artists from Africa, America, Europe, and Asia, enabling audiences to consider not only the parallel histories of the medium, but for its materiality, taxonomy, and serial structures to be revealed and drawn into question.

AP 11
Adolfo Patiño, “La Tierra Prohibida de Terry Holiday” (The Forbidden Land of Terry Holiday), 1979. Courtesy The Walther Collection

With works by Ai Weiwei, Jane Alexander, Dieter Appelt, Richard Avedon, Martina Bacigalupo, Sammy Baloji, Yto Barrada, Bernd & Hilla Becher, Bruce Bellas, Jodi Bieber, Karl Blossfeldt, Candice Breitz, Cang Xin, Edson Chagas, Kudzanai Chiurai, Mitch Epstein, Em’kal Eyongakpa, Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Samuel Fosso, David Goldblatt, A.M. Duggan-Cronin, Kay Hassan, Hong Hao, Huang Yan, Pieter Hugo, Délio Jasse, Seydou Keïta, Lebohang Kganye, Shohachi Kimura, Sze Tsung Nicolás Leong, Lin Tianmiao, Lu Yang, Luo Yongjin, Ma Liuming, Mike Mandel, Christine Meisner, Bob Mizer, Sabelo Mlangeni, Santu Mofokeng, S.J. Moodley, Zanele Muholi, Eadweard Muybridge, Grace Ndiritu, J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere, Adolfo Patiño, Dawit L. Petros, Jo Ractliffe, RongRong, Thomas Ruff, Edward Ruscha, August Sander, Zina Saro-Wiwa, Berni Searle, Sheng Qi, Accra Shepp, Yinka Shonibare, Malick Sidibé, Aida Silvestri, Penny Siopis, Song Dong, Yoshikazu Suzuki, Munemasa Takahashi, Michael Tsegaye, Guy Tillim, Hentie van der Merwe, Sue Williamson, Yang Fudong, Zhang Huan, Xu Yong, Kohei Yoshiyuki, and others, as well as anonymous artists and unknown photographers.

Curated by Anna Schneider with Damian Lentini and Hanns Lennart Wiesner.

Oje 543 Bis557 Walthercollection Ojeikerejdokhai Untitledhairstyles Grid 1970 75
J.D. 'Okhai Ojeikere, Hairstyles, 1971-75
Aida Silvestri TWC Acquisition 24102022 2 5
Aida Silvestri, Awet: Eritrea to London by car, boat, lorry, train and aeroplane, from the series "Even This Will Pass," 2013
African Spirits 13
Samuel Fosso, Self-Portrait (Angela Davis), 2008, from the series "African Spirits"
KH 875 Hassan Kay Negatives Details3 4 2006
Kay Hassan, Negatives 3-4, 2006
PH 942 Pieter Hugo
Pieter Hugo, Zakaria Salifu, Agbogbloshie Market, Accra, Ghana, 2010
Zanele Muholi, Miss D'vine II, 2007

Artworks on display

    Artists on display


    Haus der Kunst
    Prinzregentenstraße 1
    80538 Munich

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