Every two years, MoMA’s celebrated New Photography exhibition series presents urgent and compelling ideas in recent photography and photo-based art. This year’s edition, Being, asks how photography can capture what it means to be human.
At a time when questions about the rights, responsibilities, and dangers inherent in being represented—and in representing others—are being debated around the world, the works featured in Being call attention to assumptions about how individuals are depicted and perceived. Many challenge the conventions of photographic portraiture, or use tactics such as masking, cropping, or fragmenting to disorient the viewer. In others, snapshots or found images are taken from their original context and placed in a new one to reveal hidden stories. While some of the works might be considered straightforward representations of individuals, others do not include images of the human body at all. Together, they explore how personhood is expressed today, and offer timely perspectives on issues of privacy and exposure; the formation of communities; and gender, heritage, and psychology. READ MORE
Photo & text: MoMA website
Image caption: Stephanie Syjuco. Cargo Cults: Head Bundle. 2013-16