CHICAGO.- Exploitative, beautiful, and provocative: exposed film captures it all. The Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), Chicago, presents MCA EXPOSED: Defining Moments in Photography, 1967-2007, on view February 24 to July 29, 2007. This is the first of several collection exhibitions leading up to the MCAs 40th anniversary in the fall. The exhibition, comprised mostly of conceptual photographic works from the strong holdings in the MCA collection, documents how photography came into its own as a fine art medium over the last forty years.
When photography started to become accepted as an art form equal to that of painting and sculpture in the mid-twentieth century, artists began to explore it in ways that diverged greatly from photographys documentary tradition. The function of photographs was examined within a larger cultural and social context. Photographers questioned the truth of images in the mass media; juxtaposed text and image; manipulated the photographic process; and greatly enlarged the scale of printed photographs. The result was prolific conceptually-based images and the introduction of new digital technologies.
MCA EXPOSED occupies the entire fourth floor of the MCA and begins with an early work by Dan Graham, Bedroom/Dining Room Model Home (1967), to mark the year the MCA was founded. The exhibition is not arranged chronologically; rather it is divided into three thematic sections: appropriated images, staged photographs, and the figure and portrait, with an emphasis on the conceptual thread that runs throughout the works.
Works from more than sixty artists are featured, ranging from Cindy Shermans small black-and-white film stills to Christian Boltanskis major installation, Les Enfants de Dijon, and commissions such as Beat Streulis Chicago 99, which is installed on the museums façade. Artists who have been the subject of major exhibitions at the MCA are featured including Andreas Gursky, Robert Heinecken, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Lockhart, Gillian Wearing, and Catherine Opie. A number of works by Chicago-based artists are included such as Dawoud Bey, Rashid Johnson, and Ben Gest, the latter two are past UBS 12 x 12: New Artists/New Work artists. MCA EXPOSED is curated by MCA Assistant Curator Julie Rodrigues Widholm. She leads a tour of the exhibition on Tuesday, May 15, 2007, at noon.