Much of contemporary photography and video seems haunted by the past, by ghostly apparitions that are reanimated in reproductive media, as well as in live performance and the virtual world. By using dated, passé, or quasi-extinct stylistic devices, subject matter, and technologies, this art embodies a melancholic longing for an otherwise irrecuperable past. Haunted: Contemporary Photography/Video/Performance examines myriad ways photographic imagery is incorporated into recent practice and in the process underscores the unique power of reproductive media while documenting a widespread contemporary obsession, both collective and individual, with accessing the past. The works included in the exhibition range from individual photographs and photographic series, to sculptures and paintings that incorporate photographic elements, and to videos, both on monitors and projected, as well as film, performance, and site-specific installations. Drawn primarily from the Guggenheim Museum collection, Haunted features recent acquisitions, many of which are exhibited by the museum for the first time. Included in the show is work by such artists as Marina Abramović, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Sophie Calle, Tacita Dean, Stan Douglas, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Roni Horn, Zoe Leonard, Robert Rauschenberg, Cindy Sherman, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Jeff Wall, and Andy Warhol. A significant part of the exhibition is dedicated to work created since 2001 by younger artists. This exhibition is curated by Jennifer Blessing, Curator of Photography, and Nat Trotman, Associate Curator.
This exhibition is made possible by the International Director’s Council of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Additional support is provided by grants from The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation and the William Talbott Hillman Foundation. The Leadership Committee for Haunted: Contemporary Photography/Video/Performance is gratefully acknowledged.