Faithless Pictures

9 February 2018–13 May 2018

National Gallery

The complex relationship between image and reality has long been one of the most important topics in art.

In this exhibition, the National Museum shows works from the last four decades by close to forty prominent artists. Using a variety of approaches, they all address the surfeit of images we see all around us.

The visual deluge that supposedly represents our lives, our times, our world. News clips, holiday snaps, flickers from the depths of the internet. A fragmented intermediate world, half illusion, half reality. Excerpts and selections. And in the midst of it all: glimpses of truth. Images with the power to change the world.

New times, new questions

It is forty years since Cindy Sherman, Richard Prince and the Pictures Generation entered the art scene with their incisive critiques of the clichéd visual culture of television and commercial magazines. A world obsessed with images and illusion.

We are living through a technological revolution. The torrent of images and the balance of power are changing. A smartphone camera in everyone’s pocket. The immediacy and reach of social media. These are new times, and art is posing new questions.

Play, borrow, steal

This exhibition presents iconic, pioneering statements alongside entirely new works. Artists conduct their explorations across a broad front. From film and photo to sculpture and painting. Digital images, old newspapers and pages from magazines. From Vibeke Tandberg’s staged images of herself as a young bride and Hito Steyerl’s search for her past as a bondage model, to Alfredo Jaar’s non-photo of Osama Bin Laden’s death and Mike Bouchet’s pulsating porn fragments.

The featured artists address the power of the image over reality and our own self-understanding. They expose the illusion, the manipulation, the masks. They play, borrow, steal. They take control of the unclaimed images that define the world. And ask: What truth is possible?

“Faithless Pictures” is on show on the first floor of the National Gallery. In parallel we are opening the permanent exhibition to interventions by four contemporary artists.

The artists in the exhibition are: John Baldessari, Mike Bouchet, Bernadette Corporation, Thomas Demand, Stan Douglas, Gardar Eide Einarsson, Ida Ekblad, Matias Faldbakken, Harun Farocki, Andrea Fraser, Jan Freuchen, Cyprien Gaillard, Isa Genzken, Rachel Harrison, Jenny Holzer, Alfredo Jaar, Helen Marten, Allan McCollum, Rachel Harrison, Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger, Louise Lawler, Michel Majerus, Josephine Meckseper, Katja Novitskova, Trevor Paglen, Maria Pasenau, Richard Prince, Josephine Pryde, Ed Ruscha, Torbjørn Rødland, Sean Snyder, Cindy Sherman, Hito Steyerl, Sturtevant, and Vibeke Tandberg, and Fredrik Værslev.

 

Contact:

Press: Elise Lund
Exhibition curator: Andrea Kroksnes
Project manager: Lita Ellingsen