Even while the disparity between the poor and the rich in society continues to grow at an alarming rate, we have been seeing people flaunt their wealth more excessively. Thanks to the viral capabilities of the media, anyone can become a reporter and share their lives with the world. Print media, Internet and television constantly present the insignia of a new, ultra-rich social class.

The group exhibition in Hamburg took a close, extensive look at the portrayal of wealth and featured 20 contemporary international positions including artistic works, reportage photography, documentary films and video works by Tina Barney, Gabriele Mascaro, Martin Parr, Julika Rudelius, Juergen Teller, Paolo Woods and others. These were supplemented by amateur photos from the photo-sharing portal Instagram and excerpts from the reality-TV show “Rich Kids of Beverly Hills”. The exhibition was divided into different themes and supplemented by thirteen historic counterparts dating from the start of the 20th century to the 1960s. These included photos by Jacques Henri Lartigue, Lisette Model, Regina Relang and Edward Steichen. The exhibition approached the subject from a sociological standpoint. It examined the cultural distinctions and national differences of wealth, the impact it has on globalisation and the portrayal of luxury, shed light on the motivation and role of the flaunters and admirers, and highlighted the evolution of visual media.

In cooperation with the magazine “POP. Kultur und Kritik”, the exhibition project produced a special theme-based issue in September 2014. Another joint project took place with the Institute of Art and Visual Culture at the University of Oldenburg.


Artistic director: Esther Ruelfs
Artists: Slim Aarons (US), Lamia Maria Abillama (LB), Tina Barney (US), Giacomo Bianchetti (IT), Bill Brandt (UK), Jim Dow (US), Francesco Giusti (IT), Jim Goldberg (US), Lauren Greenfield (US), Thomas Hoepker (DE), Christian Jankowski (DE), Jacques Henri Lartigue (FR), Louise Lawler (US), Robert Lebeck (DE), Gabriel Mascaro (BR), Lisette Model (US), Martin Parr (GB), Emil Puls (DE), Regina Relang (DE), Hermann Rückwardt (DE), Julika Rudelius (NL), Max Scheler (DE), Julius Shulman (US), Anna Skladmann (US), Otto Snoek (NL), Edward Steichen (US), Juergen Teller (DE), Jakob Tuggener (CH), Sébastien Valiela (FR), Muntu Vilakazi (ZA), Weegee (US), Paolo Woods (NL), „Rich Kids of Instagram“ (US), „Rich Kids of Beverly Hills“ (US).

Cata­logue

The catalogue featuring articles by Thomas Hecken, Monica Titton, Christoph Ribbat, Ernst-Ulrich Huster and Esther Ruelfs is now available through the Kerber Verlag, 200 pp., € 24.90.

Con­tact

Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg

Steintorplatz

20099 Hamburg

www.mkg-hamburg.de