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Exhibition of Photographs that have Been Subject to Intense Controversy
David LaChapelle, Angelina Jolie, Horseplay, 2004. © David LaChapelle Studio / Courtesy Fred Torres Collaborations.
VIENNA.- With the exhibition "Controversies" Kunst Haus Wien presents around 100 photographs that have been subject to intense controversy or legal proceedings. The exhibition shows works from photographers like Man Ray, Robert Capa or Lewis Carroll as well as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Oliviero Toscani, Richard Avedon, Robert Mapplethorpe or Todd Maisel. The images shown cover the history of photography from its early days until today.

Since its invention in 1839, photography has provoked numerous legal, ethical and political controversies. A history of these conflicts reveals how society and ordinary people have related to the image of their time. In every area and genre – art, politics, science, journalism, fashion or advertising – photography has been subjected to the judgements of law courts, public opinion or private individuals. It is at the crossroads of opposite rights, such artistic license and the rights of individuals to control the use of their own image. Photographs have therefore regularly been confronted with censorship, destruction or manipulation and most of the major photographers of the 19th and 20th centuries have had to face legal proceedings.

The exhibition, which includes well known and lesser known photographs, was produced by the Musée de l'Elysée Lausanne and curated by Daniel Girardin, Senior Curator at Musée de l’Elysée, and Christian Pirker, Attorney, member of the Geneva Bar. In Vienna Andreas Hirsch acts as associate curator for KUNST HAUS WIEN.




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