While early 19th-century philosophy may seem an irrelevant topic for many, the work of late-french philosopher Roland Barthes can be relatable to anyone discussing topics like whitewashed media or the current refugee crisis. How is society’s narrative created by the images that we see? How are these images constructed by those in power to reinforce a singular view of the world? Inspired by questions posed by Barthes, the works highlight those who are marginalized in contemporary society. With over 200 pieces, the title and scope of the exhibition parodies “The family of man,” a 1955 momA exhibition Barthes heavily criticized for ignoring human diversity and one-dimensional views about family life. While you’ll recognize icons, such as Andy Warhol and Cindy Sherman, look for thought-provoking images amongst the lesser-known artists as well. The chilling 2009 photography series “Les Proscrits” (The Outcasts) by mathieu Pernot, which shows individual shots of deceased migrants wrapped in cloth, and photographer Sophie Calle’s 1986 “Les Aveugles” (The Blinds), which asks blind people what their idea of beauty is, are two such titles to pore over. While the exhibition is by no means light or simple, visiting this exhibition will challenge you to question what is invisible and why.
1 COURTESY OF SEMA
2 © ADAGP, Paris 2016/photo: VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
3 © Laurent Kropf/photo: Jean-Christophe Garcia
4 © Agnès Geoffray/photo: Cnap