Faithless Pictures

9 February 2018–13 May 2018

National Gallery

Pictures today no longer serve to record reality. They make reality. The recent development in the technology and use of images have fundamentally changed the way we see the world and our sense of self.

We use pictures to create and control our image through social media. Image editing apps on our smart phones help us and our pictures to look better than ever. Many of us embrace this condition as self-empowering. We want our pictures to communicate strongly. Negligence with factual veracity is often the result.

Is truth dead?

Yet there remain some questions: If we cannot trust today’s digital images to convey knowledge or truth: Is truth dead? And what happens to originality, art and counterculture?

But most of all, how should we explore the huge quantity of visual images available to us? How find meaning at all? These are central questions that the artists in this exhibition address.

The Pictures Generation

The exhibition will show how artists today relate to the question of the image and what role art can play today. It will also trace the legacy of The Pictures Generation, the first art movement that explicitly took up these questions. They came of age in the late 1970s, when the media culture of movies, television, popular music and magazines was creating a stream of pictures.

They were among the first to address a world that is fatally attracted to images and illusion.

The exhibition will present over 40 artist's positions on the entire ground floor of the National Gallery. In addition there will be artistic interventions in our permanent collection show on the second floor.

Some of the participating artists in the show are: Mike Bouchet, Thomas Demand, Stan Douglas, Ida Ekblad, Harun Farocki,  Cyprien Gaillard, Isa Genzken, Jenny Holzer, Barbara  Kruger, Bernadette Corporation, Louise Lawler, Katja Novitskova, Trevor Paglen, Josephine Pryde, Richard Prince, Ed Ruscha, Cindy Sherman, John Baldessari, Rachel Harrison, Michel Majerus, Oliver Payne, Sean Snyder, Sturtevant, Alfredo Jaar, Hito Steyerl, Alex Israel and Vibeke Tandberg.


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