Performing for the Camera

Tate Modern exhibition Performing for the Camera examines the variety of ways in which the photographic image has both documented and developed our understanding of performance since the invention of photography as a medium in the nineteenth century. The exhibition engages with both the serious business of art and performance and the humour and improvisation of posing for the camera.

The exhibition approaches the subject in several distinct ways: by considering the documentation of important performance works by artists such as Yves Klein,Yayoi Kusama and Merce Cunningham; by charting how performers and photographers have worked collaboratively in the case of Nadar and the mime of Charles Deburau or Eikoh Hosoe and the choreographer Tatsumi Hijikata; by thinking through how the photographic image has become an arena within which to act, separate from the live stage of theatrical or artistic performance in the work of artists like Charles Ray, Boris Mikhailov and Erwin Wurm. Notions of the construction of self-identity and posing will be explored, as well as innovative approaches to portraiture.