Andrzej Steinbach. Untitled from the series Gesellschaft beginnt mit drei. 2017. Inkjet print, 35 7/16 × 23 5/8" (90 × 60 cm). Courtesy the artist and Galerie Conradi, Hamburg and Brussels. © 2017 Andrzej Steinbach

Being: New Photography 2018, the latest edition of MoMA’s longstanding and celebrated New Photography series, investigates charged and layered notions of personhood and subjectivity in recent photography and photo-based art, presenting works by 17 artists working in the US and internationally.

The works included in Being respond to diverse lived experiences and circumstances through a range of issues and tactics, including interrogations of traditional modes of photographic portraiture, the use of surrogates or masks as replacements for the body, tensions between privacy and exposure, formations of community or social relations, and the agency of the sitter and of the artist. Some works in the exhibition might be considered straightforward figurative depictions, while others do not include imagery of the human body at all. Since its earliest manifestations, photography has been widely seen as a means by which to capture an exact likeness of a person; the artists featured in Being mine or upset this rich history as they explore photographic representations of personhood today, when rights of representation are contested for many individuals.

Being: New Photography 2018 is constituted primarily of works made since 2016, both by artists who are just starting out in their careers, some showing in New York for the first time, and by others with more established practices who, in some cases, have been supporting the field of photography through teaching or creating other platforms for production. For all the artists, this will be the first exhibition of their work at the Museum.

The artists included are:

  • Sofia Borges (Brazilian, born 1984)
  • Matthew Connors (American, born 1976)
  • Sam Contis (American, born 1982)
  • Shilpa Gupta (Indian, born 1976)
  • Adelita Husni-Bey (Italian, born 1985)
  • Yazan Khalili (Palestinian, born Syria, 1981)
  • Harold Mendez (American, born 1977)
  • Aïda Muluneh (Ethiopian, born 1974)
  • Hương Ngô and Hồng-Ân Trương (American, born Hong Kong, 1979; American, born 1976)
  • B. Ingrid Olson (American, born 1987)
  • Joanna Piotrowska (Polish, born 1985)
  • Em Rooney (American, born 1983)
  • Paul Mpagi Sepuya (American, born 1982)
  • Andrzej Steinbach (German, born Poland, 1983)
  • Stephanie Syjuco (American, born Philippines, 1974)
  • Carmen Winant (American, born 1983)

Organized by Lucy Gallun, Assistant Curator, Department of Photography.

Major support for the exhibition is provided by The William Randolph Hearst Endowment Fund and by David Dechman and Michel Mercure.

Generous funding is provided by Courtney Finch Taylor.

Additional support is provided by the Annual Exhibition Fund with major contributions from the Estate of Ralph L. Riehle, Alice and Tom Tisch, The Marella and Giovanni Agnelli Fund for Exhibitions, The Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art, Mimi and Peter Haas Fund, Brett and Daniel Sundheim, Franz Wassmer, Karen and Gary Winnick, and Oya and Bülent Eczacıbaşı.

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