TARRAH KRAJNAK in: Image/Counterimage

Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany
22 Apr - 27 Aug 2023
In this exhibition five artists will be presented: Tarrah Krajnak, VALIE EXPORT, Sanja Iveković, Ana Mendieta, Carrie Mae Weems. The point of de­par­ture for the Pho­tog­ra­phy Room pre­sen­ta­tion is the work Mas­ter Ri­t­u­als II: We­s­t­on Nudes by the artist Tar­rah Kra­j­nak (b. 1979 in Li­ma, Pe­ru, lives in Los An­ge­les, USA). In this eigh­teen-part se­ries from 2020–21, she re­cre­at­ed fe­male nudes that the North Amer­i­can pho­to­g­ra­pher Ed­ward We­s­t­on be­gan tak­ing in 1927, and which were pub­lished posthu­mous­ly in 1977. Kra­j­nak pre­sents her­self as pho­to­g­ra­pher and mod­el in one in this work. Her ap­pro­pri­a­tion of We­s­t­on’s pho­to­graphs high­lights the tra­di­tio­n­al hi­erarchic re­la­tion­ship be­tween artist and mod­el, in which the mod­el is shown as pas­sive and her or his part in the cre­a­tive pro­cess is typ­i­cal­ly ig­nored. More­over, Kra­j­nak’s per­for­ma­tive and pho­to­graph­ic nudes are di­rect­ed at the canon of West­ern pho­tog­ra­phy, which is im­bued with a white im­age of ide­al femi­nini­ty.