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Confusing Public and Private
© Gayatri Ganju (India) "Strictly Do Not Kiss Here", photography, installation, text, 2013

Confusing Public and Private

The 3rd Beijing Photo Biennial

Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin » Claudia Andujar » Chen Baoyang » Daniela Friebel » Gayatri Ganju » Anni Hanén » Pieter Hugo » Leandro Lima » Gisela Motta » Zanele Muholi » Berna Reale » Rosângela Rennó » Jewgeni Roppel » Viviane Sassen » Jiehao Su » Taca Sui » Shen Wei » Hu Xao » Wang Yishu » Vasantha Yogananthan » Zhang Yongji » & others

Exhibition: – 28 Nov 2018

CAFA Art Museum

No.8 Huajiadi South St, Chaoyang
100102 Beijing



Tue-Sun 9:30-17:30

Confusing Public and Private
© Shen Wei 沈玮 - self-portraits, i miss you already. Lima, 2013

As a newly emerging technology, medium and application, photography has always been associated with topics of publicity and privacy since it was invented. In the early days, photographers took essentially private pictures and viewed them in public spaces, while nowadays everyone can afford a camera phone and with mobile network and social media there appeared the demarcation of image, and in the time of constantly evolving visualization of data in contemporary art, photography has increasingly become an important medium that extends to, participate in, intervene with and helps build people’s public and daily lives. Thus, the public and private characters of photography continue to conflict, confront, integrate and spread between real and virtual spaces, and this constantly changes people’s ways of expression, relationships, behavioral habits while filling up our public and private living spaces. Eventually, with the extensive involvement of photography, public and private spaces, the boundaries between the individual and the group, and the “others” and “I” are reconstructed and redefined. During the process of these changing relationships, photography interacts and resonates in new ways with a lot of important factors such as history, reality, religion, philosophy, civilization, war, science & technology, politics and human emotions. In such a spatial-temporal environment where the public and the private are mixed, the modes of organization and thinking are extremely complex, and the atmosphere is full of a sense of ritual and absurdity, how can we start an adventure of thought – what kind of world is it? How is it related to us? It may be a Utopia or Dystopia, or even a Heterotopia or Protopia [1], and in their ideological and visual field, the way we deal with the relationship and expression of the public and private by photography will become our common goal that built on a relatively broad, distant and higher point, which is also the main point that inspired us to plan this exhibition. Therefore, this exhibition will center on photography as an interdisciplinary research field as well as its complex coexistence of the social, public and private, and it aims to explore the role and significance of photography in the tensional relationship between the public and the private.

Confusing Public and Private
© Chen Baoyang (China), will bionics dream of electronic cows? Virtual reality, mirror maze, image, sound, size, 2017-2018

It is worth pointing out that, by drawing on experience and reflect on the insufficiency from the first two photo biennials, the curatorial team hope to present a completely different exhibition this year, in an experimental and challenging way of organization and thinking based on the theme of “Confusing Public and Private”.

[1] Kwvin Kelly once pointed out: “the real Dystopia has nothing to do with the description of it in the movie ‘Mad Max’ and is more like the former Soviet Union: the world was not lawless but filled with overregulated bureaucracies……however, neither Dystopia or Utopia are our destinations: our real destination is ‘Protopia’, more precisely speaking, we have already arrived in a Protopia. A Protopia is not an end but a state of transformation, a process. In the mode of a Protopia, today is better than yesterday despite it just get a little bit better. It is a gradual process of improvement and a gentle form of progress.”

Confusing Public and Private
© Vasantha Yogananthan, The myth of two souls of (France), 2016
Confusing Public and Private
© Su Jiehao (China), Film still, from The Storm in the Morning, 2017-18, Single-channel Digital Film (HD, color, stereo), 17'45''