VIVIANE SASSEN

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Body Performance, 30 November 2019 - 10 May 2020

Performance is an independent art form and photography is its constant companion. Human actions in front of the camera can be conscious or unconscious, choreographed or accidentally observed. For the first time, this group exhibition brings together photo sequences whose origins lie in performance art, dance, and other staged events, complemented by conceptual photography series. With their common focus on the human body, the images document or interpret performances, which in many cases have also been initiated by the photographers themselves.

Viviane Sassen also works mainly with the human body. She sometimes captures it in extreme contortions for her experimental fashion images. She choreographs and stages her model’s bodies in unexpected ways, for example by coloring their skin or depicting them obscured by shadow, mirrored, superimposed by objects, and often abstracted by cropping or framing the images. Occasionally she inverts the generally valid order of above and below, which results in a sense of disorientation for the viewer.

Sassen challenges us as viewers and raises questions about common clichés. As a former model, she knows both sides, in front of and behind the camera. As she once stated in an interview, it is through her own photographic works that she has been able to reclaim power over her own body.

Participating artists: Helmut Newton, Bernd Uhlig, Vanessa Beecroft, Jürgen Klauke, Erwin Wurm, Barbara Probst, Inez & Vinoodh, Cindy Sherman, Yang Fudong, Robert Longo, Robert Mapplethorpe & Viviane Sassen.

Body Performance, 30 November 2019 - 10 May 2020
Helmut Newton Foundation
Berlin, Germany