Since its founding in 2005, the Biennial for Contemporary Photography has established itself as one of the most important curated photography events in Germany. The 2020 Biennial, titled “The Lives and Loves of Images,” explores how photography became a symbol of extremes in society.
The exhibition Walker Evans Revisited at Kunsthalle Mannheim displays about 30 works by the American photographer Walker Evans (1903–1975). He unwaveringly focused on everyday themes. He became especially famous for his photographs that depicted American life during the Great Depression in the 1930s. Evans’s appreciation for the visual possibilities of everyday life was groundbreaking in fine-art photography and made him a pioneer of street photography. Alongside Evans’s works, the exhibition also presents European and US artists whose work breathes new life into Evans’s oeuvre. Contemporary photographs draw inspiration both from Evans’s idiosyncratic style and choice of subjects and from his way of working. For instance, he never joined a photo agency, and in his commercial work for magazines, he insisted on selecting his photographs himself and on co-designing the magazine spreads. This allowed him to maintain control over his works and their reception.
Curator: David Campany