They are hunters who themselves become prey. In 1960, Federico Fellini erected a questionable cinematic memorial to them in his famous film “La Dolce Vita.” He created the character of the “paparazzo,” the tabloid photographer whose name can be read as a combination of the words “pappatace” (sand fly) and “ragazzo” (boy). The paparazzo’s raison d'être: the covert following and stalking of more or less well-known personages with the aim of publishing exclusive photos of supposedly secret and personal situations. The show will be the first ever to take an in-depth look at this theme from the art-sociological perspective. Organized by the Centre Pompidou-Metz in cooperation with the SCHIRN KUNSTHALLE, it will investigate a modern myth, provide insights into the techniques and aesthetics of paparazzi photography, and examine the complex relationship that occasionally develops between the celebrity and the photographer. Some six hundred works and documents will cast this global phenomenon in an entirely new light. The presentation will showcase classics that have etched themselves into our visual memory – for example Jackie Kennedy-Onassis on a seemingly casual walk through Manhattan or Lady Di fleeing from a frenzy of flashing cameras – as well as the more recent and contemporary “icons” of paparazzi photography such as Paris Hilton and Britney Spears. Artistic approaches by such photographers as Richard Avedon, Thomas Demand, Cindy Sherman, Gerhard Richter, or Andy Warhol will also be on view.
Curator: Clément Chéroux (Centre Pompidou-Metz)