Biennale für aktuelle Fotografie


Between Art and Commerce

29th of February till 26th April 2020

Opening 28/02/2020 at the Kunsthalle Mannheim

Opening 29/02/2020 at Port25

Hein Gorny, Maurice Scheltens & Liesbeth Abbenes, Bryan Schutmaat, Daniel Stier
Christopher Williams, Thomas Wunsch

Photography has come to symbolize the extremes of contemporary society. It is deeply personal and yet thoroughly public. Freeing at times yet also limiting. Expressive yet culturally dominant. Pleasurable, but worrying. There is affection for photography, but we are or ought to be suspicious of its power and manipulations. If we are dependent upon the photographic image, as so many have claimed over the last century, this dependence gives us mixed feelings.


Across three cities, six museums and an extensive programme of talks, discussions and workshops, The Lives and Loves of Images explores how these tensions shape our understanding and appreciation of photography. A series of exhibitions, each thematically distinct, considers the hold, good and bad which photographs have over us, viewers and image makers alike.


Between Art and Commcerce


With works by: Hein Gorny, Maurice Scheltens & Liesbeth Abbenes, Bryan Schutmaat, Daniel Stier, Thomas Wunsch et. al. 


While photography is an art form, it does not belong exclusively to the world of art. It plays significant roles in all aspects of life and culture, and it is inevitable that these will overlap, have relations to each other, and also be in tension with each other.

In many ways it was an acceptance of this complex relation between art and non-art that led to photography becoming fully modern in the 1920s and 30s. Photographers made images with ambiguity, understanding that they could mean different things in different contexts. Their work appeared in commercial settings and on the pages of avant-garde journals. Some photographers worked simultaneously in the fields of documentary, advertising, portraiture, fashion, scientific imaging, art and more.


Between Art and Commerce looks at this complex situation through the work of several photographers. Each takes a different position. Here you will find an artist who makes images that are then used commercially; commercial photographers who also make art exhibitions; a photographer whose personal and commercial work is indistinguishable; an artist who makes photographic art about commercial photography; and a forerunner of all this who worked in the 1920s and 30s.​