Lauren McCarthy explores our contemporary social interactions and the increasingly mediated systems that underlie and shape them. In her performance series Follower the artist provides a service to obtain a real-life follower for one day. After signing up participants are selected and given an app to download, which will notify them when the following begins – an act one is aware of, yet which remains just outside one’s sight. The following lasts one day and at the end the participant is left with a photo of her, taken from her follower. Through this seemingly simple shift from online to real-life follower, the artist explores the complexity of our desire to be seen, subverting the normative accumulation of faceless followers on our social media accounts. The performance can be seen as a balancing act between the affective and the surveilling role of networked images, treading on a fine line between attention and control within social media.
Together, Fotomuseum and Fotostiftung Schweiz will showcase the oeuvre of Swiss artist Balthasar Burkhard (1944–2010) in a major retrospective. Burkhard’s work spans half a century: from his early days as a trainee photographer with Kurt Blum to his seminal role in chronicling the art of his time, eventually becoming a photographic artist in his own right who brought photography into the realms of contemporary art in the form of the monumental tableau. More than 150 works and groups of works chart not only the progress of his own photographic career, but also the emergence of photography as an art form in the second half of the twentieth century. An exhibition in collaboration with Museum Folkwang, Essen, and Museo d’arte della Svizzera italiana, Lugano.