Civilization: The Way We Live Now
”Civilization – The Way We Live Now” presents the work of one hundred and ten photographers from all five continents. Bringing together young talents as well as renowned artists, this exhibition showcases more than 200 original prints by Massimo Vitali, Pieter Hugo, Lauren Greenfield, Wang Qingsong, Raphaël Dallaporta, Valérie Belin, Thomas Struth, Candida Höfer… Together, they draw a plural portrait of our time.
“Civilization – The Way We Live Now” concerns civilization as it is in the 21st century, from one end of the planet to the other, particularly in what unites us and what is shared collectively in a world where the values of individualism often dominate. It takes on a special significance as a reflection of the world before the Covid-19 pandemic.
We hurtle together into the future at ever-increasing speed – or so it seems to the collective psyche. Perpetually evolving, morphing, building and demolishing, rethinking, reframing and reshaping the world around and ahead – and the people within it – an emerging, planetary-wide Civilization is our grand, global, collective endeavour. Never before in human history have so many people been so interconnected, and so interdependent.
With close to 500 images, many previously unpublished, this landmark publication takes stock of the material and spiritual cultures that make up ‘civilization’. Ranging from the ordinary to the extraordinary, from our great collective achievements to our ruinous collectiv e failings, Civilization: The Way We Live Now explores the complexity of contemporary civilization through the rich, nuanced language of photography.
Featuring images by some 140 photographers – from Reiner Riedler’s families at leisure parks, Raimond Wouda’s high schools, Wang Qingsong’s Work, Work, Work and Cindy Sherman’s Society Portraits, to Lauren Greenfield’s displays of ostentatious wealth, Edward Burtynsky’s oil fields, Pablo Lopez Luz’s views on a sprawling contemporary megapolis, Thomas Struth’s images of high technology, Xing Danwen’s electronic wastelands, Taryn Simon’s Contraband and myself, Ahmad Zamroni’s about belief and religion. Civilization draws together the threads of humankind’s ever-changing, frenetic, collective life across the globe.
“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.”- Niall Ferguson (Civilization, 2011)
Visually epic, Civilization is presented through eight thematic chapters,each featuring powerful imagery and accompanied by provocative essays, quotes, and concise statements by the artists themselves.This ambitious publication is accompanied by an internationally touring exhibition produced by the Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography – a global cultural event for a global subject.
The exhibition project, Civilization: The Way We Live Now which curated by William A. Ewing and Holly Roussell Perret-Gentil was traveled to the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, KR (2018), UCCA Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing. CN (2019), NGV, Melbourne, AUS (2019), Auckland Art Gallery (2020), MUCEM, Marseille, FR (2021) and other venues next.
Artists/photographers: Max Aguilera-Hellweg, Andreia Alves de Oliveira, Evan Baden, Murray Ballard, Olivo Barbieri, Mandy Barker, Olaf Otto Becker, Valérie Belin, Daniel Berehulak, Peter Bialobrzeski, Florian Böhm, Michele Borzoni, Priscilla Briggs, Paul Bulteel, Edward Burtynsky, Alejandro Cartagena, Philippe Chancel, Che Onejoon, Olivier Christinat, Lynne Cohen, Lois Conner, Raphaël Dallaporta, Gerco de Ruijter, Richard de Tscharner, Sergey Dolzhenko, Natan Dvir, Roger Eberhard, Mitch Epstein, Andrew Esiebo, Adam Ferguson, Vincent Fournier, Andy Freeberg, Lee Friedlander, Matthieu Gafsou, Andreas Gefeller, George Georgiou, Christoph Gielen, Ashley Gilbertson, Katy Grannan, Samuel Gratacap, Lauren Greenfield, Han Sungpil, Nick Hannes, Sean Hemmerle, Mishka Henner, South Ho Siu Nam, Candida Höfer, Dan Holdsworth, Hong Hao, Pieter Hugo, Jo Choonman, Chris Jordan, Yeondoo Jung, Nadav Kander, KDK, Mike Kelley, KIM Taedong, Alfred Ko, Irene Kung, Benny Lam, An-My Lê, Gjorgji Lichovski, Michael Light, Mauricio Lima, Pablo López Luz, Christian Lünig, Vera Lutter, Alex MacLean, David Maisel, Ann Mandelbaum, Edgar Martins, Jeffrey Milstein, Mintio, Richard Misrach, Andrew Moore, David Moore, Richard Mosse, Michael Najjar, Walter Niedermayr, NOH Suntag, Jason Sangik Noh, Simon Norfolk, Hiroshi Okamoto, Neil Pardington, Trent Parke, Cara Phillips, Robert Polidori, Sergey Ponomarev, Cyril Porchet, Mark Power, Giles Price, Reiner Riedler, Simon Roberts, Andrew Rowat, Victoria Sambunaris, SATO Shintaro, Dona Schwartz, Paul Shambroom, Sheng-Wen Lo, Toshio Shibata, Taryn Simon, Alec Soth, Henrik Spohler, Will Steacy, Thomas Struth, Larry Sultan, Shigeru Takato, Eric Thayer, Danila Tkachenko, Eason Tsang Ka Wai, Andreas Tschersich, Amalia Ulman, Brian Ulrich, Penelope Umbrico, Carlo Valsecchi, Reginald Van de Velde, Cássio Vasconcellos, Massimo Vitali, Robert Walker, Dougie Wallace, Richard Wallbank, Wang Qingsong, Patrick Weidmann, Thomas Weinberger, Damon Winter, Michael Wolf, Paolo Woods & Gabriele Galimberti, Raimond Wouda, Xing Danwen, Anne Zahalka, Ahmad Zamroni, Luca Zanier, Zhang Xiao, Robert Zhao Renhui, Francesco Zizola