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Saint Louis Art Museum presents An Orchestrated Vision: The Theatre of Contemporary Photography
Yeondoo Jung, Korean, born 1969; Location #4, 2006; chromogenic print; 48 x 60 1/2 inches; Courtesy Tina Kim Gallery and Kukje Gallery © Yeondoo Jung.

SAINT LOUIS, MO.- The Saint Louis Art Museum announces the February 19, 2012 opening of An Orchestrated Vision: The Theater of Contemporary Photography, a compelling survey of contemporary photographers, many presented in St. Louis for the first time. Seen together, the works reveal the remarkable potential of the photographic medium in contemporary artistic practice.

In 43 works from an international group of 36 artists, The Theater of Contemporary Photography encompasses a broad scope of perspectives and styles with an emphasis on the artists’ complex scene setting and directing from behind the camera rather than on capturing or mirroring the world in front of it. The artists’ work purposefully blurs the lines between fact and fiction, calling the viewer to closely inspect the sizeable images.

“At this scale, photographers choose either to put us very close to their subjects-as if we were in the same space—or to communicate a broader sense of expansiveness of the world around us,” said exhibition curator Eric Lutz, associate curator of prints, drawings and photographs.

Though the medium of photography has seen vast technological changes over the last twenty years, the photographers represented here have largely chosen to forgo manipulation of images after photographing and instead physically manipulate their subjects before capturing them with a camera.

"Most of these photographers are foregoing new technology for old–using large format film cameras for their ability to record a wealth of rich detail, and engaging in meticulous prop-building to create fantasy and illusion,” noted Mr. Lutz.

The exhibition is presented in four thematic sections: “Portraiture and Performance,” “Constructed Space, ” “The Public Stage” and “The Elusive Narrative.”

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