International Center of Photography // January 28, 2022 – May 02, 2022
Robert Capa, [Artist making collages, Paris], 1934-35. International Center of Photography, The Robert Capa and Cornell Capa Archive, Gift of Cornell and Edith Capa, 1992. © International Center of Photography/Magnum Photos
Louise Lawler, Untitled (Gold Jackie), 1993. International Center of Photogtaphy: Gift of Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz in honor of Willis E. Hartshorn’s 25th Anniversary at ICP, 2007. Courtesy the artist and Sprüth Magers
Are there too many images in the world? Too many of the wrong kind? Too many that we don’t like or want or need? These feel like very contemporary questions, but they have a rich and fascinating history. A Trillion Sunsets: A Century of Image Overload takes a long look at our worries and compulsive fascination with the proliferation of photographic images.
In the 1920s, with the rapid increase in illustrated magazines and daily newspapers, commentators asked whether society could survive the visual inundation. Artists looked to mass-media imagery and archives of all kinds to rethink the world around them.
The artists of Dada, surrealism, pop, situationism, conceptualism, and postmodernism were all, in different ways, horrified and mesmerized by the seemingly endless supply of images. They cast a critical eye over the clichés, stereotypes, and repetitive images, and looked to unearth alternative histories and counternarratives. From scrapbooks to internet memes, from collage and image appropriation to art made by algorithms, A Trillion Sunsets at the International Center of Photography highlights unlikely parallels and connections across distinct decades.
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