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Veronica's Revenge: Contemporary Perspectives on Photography

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)


29 Nov 2000 to 04 Mar 2001


Doug Aitken, Janine Antoni, Nobuyoshi Araki, David Armstrong, John Baldessari, Matthew Barney, Bernd & Hilla Becher, Vanessa Beecroft, Joseph Beuys, Oliver Boberg, Christian Boltanski, Marcel Broodthaers, Victor Burgin, Jean-Marc Bustamante, Claude Cahun, Sophie Calle, Larry Clark, Gregory Crewdson, Jeanne Dunning, Tracey Emin, Walker Evans, Peter Fischli & David Weiss, Robert Frank, Hamish Fulton, Gilbert & George, Robert Gober, Nan Goldin, Felix Gonzales-Torres, Rodney Graham, Gunter Forg, Andreas Gursky, Mona Hatoum, Damien Hirst, Roni Horn, Gary Hume, Sarah Jones, Seydou Keita, Mike Kelley, Jeff Koons, Barbara Kruger, Louise Lawler, Zoe Leonard, Sherrie Levine, Sarah Lucas, Man Ray, Robert Mapplethorpe, Gordon Matta-Clark, Paul McCarthy, Allan McCollum, Annette Messager, Tracey Moffatt, Pieter Laurens Mol, Jean-Luc Mylayne, Catherine Opie, Gabriel Orozco, Tony Oursler, Pierre & Gilles, Steven Pippen, Sigmar Polke, Richard Prince, Charles Ray, Gerhard Richter, Pipilotti Rist, Robins & Becher, Ugo Rondinone, Thomas Ruff, Sam Samore, Thomas Schütte, Andreas Serrano, Cindy Sherman, Laurie Simmons, Kiki Smith, Thomas Struth, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Sam Taylor-Wood, Wolfgang Tillmans, Rosemarie Trockel, Fatima Tuggar, Inez van Lamsweerde, Jeff Wall, Andy Warhol, James Welling, Jane & Louise Wilson

About the exhibition

Veronica’s Revenge: Contemporary Perspectives on Photography was a major exhibition of photographs from LAC-Switzerland, a collection based in Geneva, and brought together over two decades. Comprising over 300 works by 80 internationally renowned artists, it illustrated the most significant developments in photographic practice from the early 20th century to 2000.

Photography has occupied a shifting position in the history of 20th century art. Originally associated with the impartial documentation of nature or ‘reality’, its function over time has expanded to embrace wider social issues and individual or personal concerns. This transformation from documentation to critical interpretation formed a key theme in Veronica’s Revenge and was well illustrated in the diversity of photographic practices that it presented. The status of photography similarly has undergone profound change during the course of the century, marked by its struggle for recognition as a valid art-form equal to painting or sculpture.

The majority of photographs in this exhibition were produced since 1970. They were placed in context by earlier works dating back to the 1920s and 1930s, establishing points of connection between past and present practices and demonstrating the evolution of different ways of seeing over time. Veronica’s Revenge provided an insight into these key ideas and concerns facing photography at the turn of the century. From the aesthetic and the philosophical to the social, political and satirical, these images revealed both the power of art to transform everyday life and photography’s capacity for innovation and experimentation.