Wolfgang Tillmans

truth study center, 2008

truth study center (table 8), 2007

truth study center (table 25), 2007

truth study center (table 32), 2007

truth study center (table 26), 2007

truth study center (table 34), 2007

truth study center, 2008

Paradise, War, Religion, Work, 2007

truth study center, installation view at La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, 2009

all images courtesy of the artist

Regarded as one of the most influential artists of his generation, German artist and photographer WOLFGANG TILLMANS needs no introduction: many of his photographs are very familiar; they have often been printed in magazines and catalogues, and shown in galleries and museums.

The works presented above are part of the ongoing project Truth Study Center that TILLMANS began in 2005 and examines how society perceives the concept of truth despite having so many different voices claiming to be the infallible source. Using methods of collage, mimicry, and repurposing, these tables combine a diverse array of image formats and content. His own photographs are presented and arranged under glass next to extracts from books, newspapers, magazines, postcards, packaging and other found materials.

The collage-like arrangements of the table displays produce an open-ness and potentiality in terms of aesthetics and content while addressing the ambiguity about what is news:

I had worked with found newspapers before, in the ‘Soldiers’ series (1999). I have to confess I am a bit of a newspaper junkie and have collected them since childhood. I often think that a day’s newspaper contains the essence of the whole world. But I guess that around 2002–2004, the years post 9/11, a clearer picture of the world we live in emerged – all the insanity that surrounded us – after what had seemed like the less politically charged 1990s. I was enraged and concerned and spending a lot of time reading media and thinking about all these different claims to the truth, ‘the big truth’ which was the ultimate justification behind all that violence and those wars. I realised that all the problems that the world faces right now arise from men claiming to possess absolute truths. – WOLFGANG TILLMANS for SelfSelector

If you are interested in the work of WOLFGANG TILLMANS, I really suggest you his new book Abstract Pictures (2011) and  Lighter (2008) which is a complex study of photography, of the value of the image and the aura of display and framing.

Make sure to view his last exhibition if you are in Warsaw: Zachęta Emutigung, Zachęta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, 18 Nov 2011 – 31 Jan 2012

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