The Tate Modern has today announced a new exhibition that will examine the relationship between photography and performance will open to the public from the 18th February 2016.

Performing for the Camera  will start from the invention of the camera in the 19th century, continuing all the way through to the selfie culture that exists today and bringing together 500 images that span across 150 years.

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Masahisa Fukase, From Window 1974 © Masahisa Fukase Archives.

This new exhibition is set to engage with the serious business of art and performance but at the same time it will reveal the humour and improvisation of posing for the camera. It will feature many iconic images as well as many rarely seen studies – including how the photomontage of Yves Klein’s famous Leap into the Void (1960) was made.

By charting how performers and photographers worked together, Performing for the Camera will also examine performances that solely happened for the camera. This section will feature some of the earliest works to be displayed in the exhibition, such as photographs from Nadar’s studio in 19th century Paris which reveal the famous mime artist Charles Deburau acting out poses as the character ‘Pierrot’.

But the modern world in which we currently live in is also included as a key piece of work staged on Instagram by Amalia Ulman will also be featured in the exhibition. Meanwhile, other recent projects such as Samuel Fosso’s African Spirits 2008, where the artist photographs himself in the guise of iconic figures like Martin Luther King Jr and Miles Davis will also help the exhibition to explore the construction of self-identity and posing in photography.

The main message  of Performing for the Camera is to show how photography has always been performative but it also shows how much of performance is actually photographic.

Performing for the Camera opens to the public on the 18th February and will be on display until the 12th June 2016. 

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