You Are Looking at Something That Never Occurred

30 Mach - 9 April 2017

Zabludowicz Collection, London


Artists: Lucas Blalock, Anne Collier, Sara Cwynar, Natalie Czech, Andreas Gursky, Elad Lassry, Richard Prince, Thomas Ruff, Cindy Sherman, Erin Shirreff, Wolfgang Tillmans, Sara VanDerBeek, Jeff Wall, Christopher Williams

You Are Looking at Something That Never Occurred explores photography's ability to blur fact and fiction. It brings together 14 artists, with works spanning 1977 to the present day, and traces a move away from the 'decisive moment' of street photography toward slower strategies of appropriation, cinematic staging and digital manipulation.

Today, the photographic image feels ever-present, perhaps even over-familiar. How then do artists go about producing works that can engage us? In this exhibition the recognisable world of images is used as a starting point. The languages of the personal snapshot, advertising and cinema are reworked to produce new pictures.

The exhibition title is borrowed from a conversation between Jeff Wall and Lucas Blalock in which they argue for art that is experimental and mysterious. Surfacing from beyond our everyday reality, the works presented here question an instant and truthful depiction of the world as proposed by the ‘decisive moment’ of street photography. Instead they embrace slower methods of picture-making. Three main strategies recur: the appropriation of existing images and objects, the staging of new situations, and digital manipulation.

Drawn exclusively from the Zabludowicz Collection, this exhibition highlights connections and points of divergence between artists of different generations. It focuses on key sites of photographic enquiry in North America and Germany, and maps how the medium has developed into a vital component of contemporary art. A new full-colour publication accompanies the exhibition. Alongside images of works from the exhibition, it includes a commissioned essay from David Campany, a round-table discussion moderated by artist and writer Chris Wiley featuring Lucas Blalock. Sara Cwynar and Erin Shirreff, and a text by exhibition curator Paul Luckraft.

Lucas Blalock, Athena's Fruit Dish, 2012. Courtesy the artist and Ramiken Crucible, New York

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