Exhibition: Talia Chetrit at Kölnischer Kunstverein

©Courtesy Talia Chetrit und Kaufmann Repetto, Mailand/New York; Sies + Höke, Düsseldorf: Talia Chetrit, Untitled (Daphne), 2013 - 2018, Inkjetdruck 35,56 x 25,4 cm (l) | ©Courtesy Talia Chetrit und Kaufmann Repetto, Mailand/New York; Sies + Höke, Düsseldorf: Talia Chetrit, Streets #4, 2018, Inkjetdruck 81,28 x 55,88 cm (r)

Kölnischer Kunstverein is presenting photographer Talia Chetrit’s first institutional solo show in Germany until March 25, 2018

Reuniting with an icon: Juliette Lewis has been back for a few days and Talia Chetrit was in front of the camera directing it for Acne Studios. “For SS18 I was thinking about the strong women of 90s cinema. When Juliette Lewis arrived on set and saw the collection, she started to interpret the pieces by creating a character. During the shoot Talia mirrored Juliette, creating this amazing and direct energy,” said Jonny Johansson, creative director of Acne Studios, about the new campaign.

This is by no means Talia Chetrit’s first foray into fashion – she’s already photographed noteworthy campaigns for Céline and Helmut Lang. The artist, born in Washington D.C. in 1982, stands for a strong, modern image of women with a seductive, tingling pragmatism. It’s a self-image with an origin that lies deep in the 80s, a time when women were more self-determined than ever before in their professional lives, employed masculine codes in fashion, and when proportions and life plans radically shifted. It’s a mindset that is also embodied by labels like Céline and Acne Studios: You only need your own eyes and your own sense of style to know that an oversized trench coat is exactly the thing to own. At the same time, Chetrit’s attitude is also a phenomenon: When faced with the art world’s apodictic insistence that commercial work represents the selling out of intellectual aspirations, the photographer is unimpressed. This is also the reason why her campaigns are a match made in heaven.

Now Talia Chetrit’s work can be seen at Kölnischer Kunstverein in her first solo exhibition in Germany. Showcaller seamlessly follows the artist’s oeuvre as she calls the manipulative moment of contemporary photo production and today’s imagery into question. Tied to gender-specific perception and visualization of identity, Chetrit plays with ideal-typical stagings which she alters and distorts, often presenting them in a sexually charged manner. The grip on cliché serves her as tool for breaking up ways of seeing and debunking patterns and roles.

With the help of a self-timer, Chetrit positions herself naked in front of the camera in awkward poses or captures the sexual act with her boyfriend in an idealized desktop landscape. Standing in contrast to the impersonal procedures and conventions of urban New York, the artist’s place of residence, the image of a strong, naturally beautiful woman – no longer just an object, but the subject of photography – becomes a phenomenon and a testimony to a consummate aesthetic and a new era.

Showcaller by Talia Chetrit is on view at the Kölnischer Kunstverein until March 25, 2018. More information about the exhibition can be found on the website here.

Translation: Melissa Frost

Fashion, art, and pop culture are her cosmos; the written word, the material she uses to bring it all together. After studying in Leipzig, Lola Fröbe moved to Berlin in 2014. She works as a PR consultant and freelance journalist for publications such as L'Officiel, i-D, and Material Magazine.