The Last Image
Photography and Death
Exhibition dates: 12/08/2018–03/03/2019
The exhibition includes works by Christian Boltanski, Bertolt Brecht, Broomberg/Chanarin, Larry Clark, Tacita Dean, Thomas Demand, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Jochen Gerz, Nan Goldin, Douglas Gordon, Peter Hendricks, Thomas Hirschhorn, Damien Hirst, Peter Hujar, Spring Hurlbut, Adolf Laazi, Arwed Messmer, Duane Michals, Lee Miller, Heiner Müller/Brigitte Mayer, Mark Morrisroe, Nadar, Arnold Odermatt, Arnulf Rainer, Timm Rautert, Dirk Reinartz, Gerhard Richter, Schels/Lakotta, Andres Serrano, Andy Warhol and Weegee.
Death is treated in a diverse variety of ways and finds somber and poetic expression in the language of photography. In the exhibition The Last Image . Photography and Death, C/O Berlin will be presenting a unique selection of historic photographs from the nineteenth century up to the present day. The exhibition explores artistic engagement with social, societal, and media questions surrounding the subject of death in photography and its theoretical underpinnings.
Living and dying, loving and letting go—pictures, films, books, and songs about death tap into our deepest fears, confronting us with the finiteness of existence and our own mortality. The photograph represents the death of the moment depicted and the impossibility of ever bringing it back. Preeminent photography and media theorists like Siegfried Krakauer, Roland Barthes, and Susan Sontag have described the “fate of photography” and its immutable relationship with death in their writings. Soon after photography’s invention in 1839, there began to appear numerous photographs of deceased people. Some postmortem photographs were taken for criminological research or other objective reasons, but above all, these images were created to serve in rituals of remembrance. Photographs of the deceased enjoyed widespread popularity across all sectors of society between the 1850s and the 1890s, and remained a common form of visual remembrance into the 1920s. The mediatization of the dead body began in 1914 and increased over the course of the two world wars. Photojournalism reached its zenith with the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps: For the first time, photography provided visual proof of horrors and murders, allowing this evidence to be disseminated widely. LIFE Magazine, one of the most important media in the world at that time, was no longer reporting on war, suffering, and death in a distanced way but showing dead bodies in starkly realistic terms. C/O Berlin
Spring Hurlbut is excited to be showing her Airborne video in the upcoming exhibition The Last Image. Photography and Death curated by Felix Hoffman at C/O Berlin in Berlin. The show will open for private viewing on December 7, 2018. It will open to the public on December 8, 2018 and will run through to March 3, 2019.
The artist was honoured to have been awarded the Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts 2018. Resulting in an exhibition opening at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa in 2018.
Here is a link to a short film on the work directed by Scott Dobson.