The Walther Collection is pleased to announce a multi-year series of exhibitions entitled "Imagining Everyday Life," focusing on historical and contemporary uses of vernacular photography. These exhibitions aim to define the field of vernacular photography by presenting a series of case studies, delineating general characteristics, establishing conceptual categories, and proposing various modes of future critical inquiry. The project argues for an expanded definition of vernacular photography as being all photographic expressions used by individuals to demonstrate social truths for culturally specific purposes. Rather than focusing on aesthetics, this view of vernacular photography concentrates on communal or ritual behaviors. It encompasses a broad social history, spanning from 1839 to the present, and retains a global scope, with particular attention to South Africa and the United States.
"Imagining Everyday Life" will begin on December 7, 2017 with the opening reception of the exhibition The Shadow Archive: An Investigation into Vernacular Portrait Photography in The Walther Collection Project Space at 6pm. The series will include five exhibitions, an international scholarly symposium in Fall 2018 in New York, and culminate in May 2019, with a comprehensive exhibition at the collection's campus in Neu-Ulm, Germany, organized by Brian Wallis. The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue co-published with Steidl.