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This Exhibition Finally Addresses Our Obsession With Edited Photos

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This Exhibition Finally Addresses Our Obsession With Edited Photos

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The group photography exhibition ‘Hyper-real’ reflects upon photography in the digital age, the effect of modern editing tools and photography in relation to the concept of hyperreality.

‘Hyper-real’ is at The Arts Club from 21 May to 9 September and includes works by Roe Ethridge, Hassan Hajjaj, Torbjørn Rødland and Collier Schorr.

Hassan Hajjaj, Alya, ed. 1/3, 2014/1435, print size 214.5 x 113.2 cm, frame size 242 x 142.7 x D: 11.5 cm, metallic lambda on 3mm dibond, frame sprayed white with big "Soraya" tomato cans (top and bottom incl. corners) and big "Aicha" tomato cans on both sides, courtesy the artist.

Hassan Hajjaj, Alya, ed. 1/3, 2014/1435, print size 214.5 x 113.2 cm, frame size 242 x 142.7 x D: 11.5 cm, metallic lambda on 3mm dibond, frame sprayed white with big “Soraya” tomato cans (top and bottom incl. corners) and big “Aicha” tomato cans on both sides, courtesy the artist.

Digital manipulation is entrenched in today’s society. You name it, social media, selfie culture, images shared between friends and even C&TH’s very own glossy mag are subject to some form of editing. The commonality of edits have made them only all the more cunning, leaving us none the wiser and far from savvy detectors of edited media. What’s real and what’s aspirational?

Hyperreality describes a condition in which we are unable to differentiate between the fictional and the real. ‘Hyper-real’ examines the works of artists who engage with the artifice of photography, whether through the slick language of high-end advertising, through staged set-ups or through their chosen subjects. Desire, aspiration, identity and socio-political issues are all at play as artists manipulate and reinvent the nature of their medium.

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Torbjørn Rødland’s uncanny images are made up of familiar objects that confuse their surrealist constructions, becoming, as the artist describes them, ‘perverse’ in their alluring non-conformity. Roe Ethridge’s postmodern photographs explore the plastic nature of representation with edited images of models advertising nothing – the real subverts the ideal. Collier Schorr melds fiction and fantasy, using realist photography to investigate themes of gender and identity. In his ‘Kesh Angels’ series, artist Hassan Hajjaj blends the glossy aesthetics of a fashion shoot with Moroccan tradition and street culture to challenge Western perceptions of the hijab and female disempowerment.

Together these artists present a multi-faceted study of the nature of photography today – not the bombastic fantasies posited by much of commercial photography, but rather the more subtle shifts in perception seeping into our visual understanding of the world, calling on viewers to question the supposed objectivity of what they see. The exhibition is curated by Amelie von Wedel and Pernilla Holmes from Wedel Art.

When & Where: 21 May to 9 September at The Arts Club, 40 Dover St, Mayfair, London W1S 4NP


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