Title: Time Present - Photography from the Deutsche Bank Collection
Dates: September 12 (Saturday), 2015 - January 11 (Monday, national holiday), 2016
Venue: Hara Museum of Contemporary Art 4-7-25 Kitashinagawa, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo
Organized by: Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Deutsche Bank
Supported by: Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany
This exhibition presents a panorama of photographic art made between 1970 and 2010 from the Deutsche Bank Collection, which ranks as one of the most important collections of contemporary art on paper in the world and boasts some 60,000 works. By showcasing a rich diversity of photographic art in which snippets of "time" are captured and recorded, this exhibition hopes to shine a light on the power of the photograph as a medium of artistic expression. The title "Time Present" is taken from a poem by T.S. Eliot. Influenced by the philosopher Henri Bergson's idea of "pure duration," Eliot's concept of time was a unique one that made little distinction between past, present and future. This interest in time was not limited only to Eliot and Bergson; consideration of time has occurred in many forms over the ages within the areas of art and philosophy and even today it is studied as a group or shared culture within cultural anthropology and folklore. Technically speaking, the photograph (both analog and digital) captures a snippet of time and stores it as an image, allowing us to recall the moment at which the shutter was released. The absolute gap between the time of the shot (the "past") and the viewing of the photograph (the "now") is an aspect that artists have used to construct various images of "time" in their works.
Against a backdrop of cultural and social diversification, one of the highlights of this show is the extent to which photography has been pursued within contemporary art as a common language. The show features some 40 artists (and a total of approx. 60 works) who are active within their respective cultural and social milieus. They include such internationally known German artists as Bernd & Hilla Becher, Andreas Gursky and Gerhard Richter; emerging Asian artists such as Cao Fei, Yeondoo Jung and Liu Zhen; Japanese artists such as Hiroshi Sugimoto, Tokihiro Sato and Miwa Yanagi; and others from Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. Through their works, the show hopes to cast a spotlight on contemporary photographic expression as it exists within the ever accelerating wave of globalization.
Among the art collections operated by corporations as a cultural activity, the Deutsche Bank Collection may be considered a world leader. In 2006, the Hara Museum collaborated with Deutsche Bank in organizing Tokyo Blossom: Deutsche Bank Collection Meets Zaha Hadid whose venue was designed by the first female architect to win the Pritzker Prize, Zaha Hadid. The Deutsche Bank Collection was launched in 1979, which by coincidence was the year that the Hara Museum opened. As a bank with branches that span the world, Deutsche Bank's global perspective is reflected in its collection, as well as in the masterpieces featured in this exhibition which were drawn from the unique collection of Deutsche Bank.