The exhibition The Body as Protest highlights the photographic representation of the human body ? a motif that has provided a wide variety of photographers with an often radical means of expression for their visual protest against social, political, but also aesthetic norms.
The show centers on an outstanding group of works by the artist John Coplans from the holdings of the Albertina. In his serially conceived large-format pictures, the photographer focused on the rendering of his own nude body which he defamiliarized through fragmentation far from current forms of idealization. Relying on an extremely sophisticated lighting, he presented himself in a monumental and sculptural manner for years.
The body also features prominently in the work of other artists such as Hannah Wilke, Ketty La Rocca, Vito Acconci, Hannah Villiger, Bruce Nauman, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Miyako Ishiuchi. These positions not only emphasize crucial dimensions of Coplanss oeuvre, but also convey a diversified impression of the critical representation of the human body since 1970.