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Civilization: The Way We Live Now
Hong Hao
Book Keeping of 2007 B
from the series My Things
© 2018 Hong Hao, courtesy of Pace Gallery

Civilization: The Way We Live Now

Max Aguilera Hellwig » Florian Böhm » Evan Baden » Murray Ballard » Olivo Barbieri » Mandy Barker » Olaf Otto Becker » Valérie Belin » Daniel Berehulak » Peter Bialobrzeski » Michele Borzoni » Priscilla Briggs » Paul Bulteel » Edward Burtynsky » Alejandro Cartagena » Philippe Chancel » Olivier Christinat » Lynne Cohen » Lois Conner » Raphaël Dallaporta » XING Danwen » XING Danwen » Gerco de Ruijter » Richard de Tscharner » Sergey Dolzhenko » Natan Dvir » Roger Eberhard » Mitch Epstein » Andrew Esiebo » Adam Ferguson » Vincent Fournier » Andy Freeberg » Matthieu Gafsou » Andreas Gefeller » George Georgiou » Katy Grannan » Samuel Gratacap » Lauren Greenfield » Candida Höfer » Nick Hannes » HONG Hao » Sean Hemmerle » Mishka Henner » Pieter Hugo » Yeondoo JUNG » Nadav Kander » KDK (Dokyun KIM) » Mike Kelley » An-My Lê » Pablo López Luz » Michael Light » Sheng-Wen Lo » Vera Lutter » David Maisel » Edgar Martins » Jeffrey Milstein » Richard Misrach » Andrew Moore » Richard Mosse » Michael Najjar » Walter Niedermayr » Simon Norfolk » Hiroshi Okamoto » Che Onejoon » Paolo Woods & Gabriele Galimberti » Neil Pardington » Trent Parke » Cara Phillips » Robert Polidori » Sergey Ponomarev » Cyril Porchet » Mark Power » Giles Price » Wang Qingsong » Robert Zhao Renhui » Reiner Riedler » Simon Roberts » Andrew Rowat » Victoria Sambunaris » Shintaro Sato » Dona Schwartz » Paul Shambroom » Toshio Shibata » Taryn Simon » Alec Soth » Henrik Spohler » Will Steacy » Thomas Struth » Larry Sultan » Han Sungpil » NOH Suntag » Shigeru Takato » Eric Thayer » Andreas Tschersich » Amalia Ulman » Brian Ulrich » Brian Ulrich » Penelope Umbrico » Penelope Umbrico » Carlo Valsecchi » Carlo Valsecchi » Cássio Vasconcellos » Massimo Vitali » Robert Walker » Dougie Wallace » Richard Wallbank » Patrick Weidmann » Thomas Weinberger » Damon Winter » Michael Wolf » Raimond Wouda » Zhang Xiao » Anne Zahalka » Ahmad Zamroni » Luca Zanier » Francesco Zizola » & others

Exhibition: 9 Mar – 19 May 2019

Ullens Center for Contemporary Art UCCA

798 Art District, No. 4 Jiuxianqiao Lu
100015 Beijing

+86-10-5780 0200


Tue-Sun 10-19

Civilization: The Way We Live Now
site specific MEXICO CITY 2011
© Olivo Barbieri

Civilization: The Way We Live Nowpresents nearly 300 works by more than 130 of the world’s most renowned photographic artists, offering a complex and sprawling vision of contemporary life. The images gathered here, produced in the past 25 years, speak to the changes brought about by globalization, and draw attention both to the increasing amount of complexity and conflict, and to the unprecedented degree of interdependence, that characterize life today. They attest, as well, to the development of the medium of photography, and its ability to document these sweeping changes. Organized in collaboration between UCCA and the Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography, the Beijing presentation of Civilization is curated by William A. Ewing and Holly Roussell.

In his 2011 book, Civilization, the historian Niall Ferguson notes: “These days most people around the world dress in much the same way: the same jeans, the same sneakers, the same T-shirts… It is one of the greatest paradoxes of modern history that a system designed to offer infinite choice to the individual has ended up homogenizing humanity.” This paradox lies at the core of “Civilization,” which strives to explain the “complex whole” that is modern society, in all its spiritual and material richness. The photographers in this exhibition depict, reveal, examine, criticize and otherwise reflect our hyper-modern and complex social terrain, from Edward Burtynsky’smassively transformed landscapesto Lauren Greenfield’s revealing urban portraits,from Toshio Shibata’s highly ordered tableaus to Xing Danwen’s electronic pollution.

The exhibition is divided into eight sections. “Hive” explores the systems of cohabitation and collaboration that have developed in urban settings. “Alone Together” documents the solidarities and estrangements found within communities, as well as the effect of the internet on sociality. “Flow” testifies to the accelerated production and widening wealth gap in the post-industrial world. “Persuasion” explores the power of symbolic capital, from marketing strategies to consumption habits, from religious beliefs to personality cults. “Control” examines humanity’s ability to create order, resolve disputes, and organize political and social structures. “Rupture” focuses on the breakdown of this order, and the conflicts between individuals and collectives. “Escape” follows the ascent of recreational culture, where relaxation, entertainment, adventure, and thrill-seeking offer freedom from the given. Finally, “Next” presents visions of the future, questioning teleological narratives of development.

About FEP

The Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography aims to enlighten, delight and inspire people around the world through the presentation of museum-quality photographic exhibitions, along with related publications, online content, symposia, lectures, and other forms of educational activity.

FEP is the largest independent source of photography exhibitions working on the international stage. The Foundation collaborates with established curators and motivated lenders to produce historic and contemporary exhibitions that travel to museums, galleries and institutions around the world. Recent exhibitions include: The Polaroid Project: At the Intersection of Art and Technology, Vik Muniz: The Rebirth of Wonder, William Wegman: Being Human, Hard Truths: Photojournalists of the New York Timesand Beyond Fashion.

Civilization: The Way We Live Now
Figurations II 2016
© Olivier Christinat