L'ère vulgaire passera
Aleksandr Schumow, Andreas Fux, Slava Mogutin & Brian Kenny
curator of the exhibition : Patrik Schedler
Esther Woerdehoff Gallery presents an unconventional exhibition conceived by a guest curator: Patrik Schedler. The exhibition will be exceptionally hosted far from the fifteenth arrondissement in a pop-up space located in the Marais. The art critic Patrik Schedler has been managing the estate of the Swiss photographer Karlheinz Weinberger, whose extraordinary portraits of young rebels in Zurich during the sixties were exposed several times at the gallery and in art fairs.
With this exhibition entitled “l’ère vulgaire passera” (the vulgar era shall pass), a reference to the French Revolution, Patrik Schedler offers a very personal view, with a true resonance to what has been happening in the news lately. Through the works of four photographers, he shows how the Revolutions of 1989, putting an end to the authoritarian regimes in the USSR and East Germany had a dramatic impact on mentalities, society, history and art.
For the past few months, the hardening of Vladimir Putin’s regime has been accompanied by a repression which affects all those who emit a dissenting voice (Pussy Riot, journalists, activists). This repression has particularly struck the gay community, with the law against homosexual “propaganda” voted this summer. Attacked by human rights activists, this law and the anti-blasphemy law that was voted by the Russian parliament condemn social changes now accepted in most Western democracies.
The photographs of the Russian Aleksandr Schumow, the German Andreas Fux, Slava Mogutin (a Russian political refugee) and his partner Brian Kenny (American born on a military base in Germany) offer extremely diverse artistic approaches but all refer to the consequences of 1989. Between the Russian soul of Schumow’s cabinet of curiosities, the presence of the male body between the past and the present of Berlin in the beautiful black and white prints of Fux and the reckless energy, burlesque and colorful of Kenny and Mogutin’s work, Patrik Schedler presents an exhibition with a committed message, an evidence of the multiple possibilities of photography as a social, political, erotic medium in a context where censorship is standing close.