BEHIND THE MASK – Portraits by Martin Schoeller
July 6 – August 28, 2011
With the beginning of the SHOWROOM DAYS BERLIN, the Museum THE KENNEDYS will temporarily transform into a photographic catwalk for trendsetters, style icons, as well as fashion rebels of the international fashion world. The exhibition »Behind the Mask« shows one of the worldwide most fascinating portrait series of recent years.
Whether pop stars, athletes, actors, or politicians: it is the people of the public sphere who influence the public opinion and create social norms out of short-lived lifestyle trends. Not only do they perfectly master the art of self-representation in the media–the societal elite also create an impression of all-encompassing perfection and flawless beauty. In combination with their omnipresence in the media, public figures thus appear as inaccessible, seemingly surreal figures. To break through this masquerade and to present the person behind it is the self-proclaimed goal of internationally renowned photographer Martin Schoeller.
For many years, Martin Schoeller has been portraying international celebrities in a unique and incomparable form and visual language, presenting their individual personalities and underlining their distinctive characteristics. Just like in a trusting relationship, the portrayed individuals accept the photographer's rules which give rise to his unique style. These rules, for example, include the minimal use of make-up, as well as doing without a subsequent touch-up. Schoeller hereby deprives the stars in front of the camera of the instruments of self-representation and purposeful image-creation, resulting in a vulnerable, mask-less impression: easier to read for the observer, and almost comparable to a face study.
True to the motto of the SHOWROOM DAYS BERLIN »We are not afraid…«, Hollywood-Stars such as Angelina Jolie, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Cate Blanchett; politicians such as Barack Obama and Bill Clinton; soccer icons Franz Beckenbauer and Jürgen Klinsmann; pop-idols such as Katy Perry; and even it-girl Paris Hilton show that they are not afraid of »opening up« for Martin Schoeller and his camera. With the special exhibition »Behind the Mask – Portraits by Martin Schoeller,« the Museum THE KENNEDYS shows a selection of fascinating portraits from the CAMERA WORK AG portfolio. Many of the pictures stem from Schoeller's famous series »Close Up,« which has appeared both in monographs and magazines. While looking at the pictures, the viewer is challenged to question topics such as self-representation, and to contemplate the impressive explanatory power of portrait photography. Furthermore, the subjects provoke the observer to compare the individuals' appearance as communicated through the media with the viewer's own impressions and experiences.
The Museum THE KENNEDYS offers a guided tour of the special exhibition on Saturday, July 9, 2011, at 3 p.m. In the context of the weekly »Students for the Kennedys« tours you not only get to know the portrayed individuals a little better–but will also acquire some exciting background information on the special conditions on the set, the specific visual language, and Martin Schoeller's overall work. The tour is included in the admission price.
Jackie – Lady in the First Place
April 15, 2011 – May 31, 2012
The Museum THE KENNEDYS is happy to present the special exhibition »Jackie – Lady in the First Place« starting on April 15, 2011. Along with the photographs and objects from Jackie Kennedy that are already on display in the museum–among them a pillbox-hat she used to wear–the special exhibition »Jackie – Lady in the First Place« offers the opportunity to get to know the woman behind the First Lady better. The life and contributions of Jackie Kennedy are still an important part of our cultural and political history. The media have consistently portrayed her as the standard to which American First Ladies, such as Michelle Obama, have to measure up.
Her development to becoming the President's wife and the family mother, her rise as a style icon, the numerous burdens of fate she bore: the special exhibition »Jackie – Lady in the First Place« delivers a unique and intense insight into the life of the woman born Jacqueline Lee Bouvier in 1929. For many she represents the first modern First Lady, whose interesting life, touching personality, and impressive appearance fascinates people, especially women, even today. More than 50 photographs, some of which have never been on display before, impressively recount Jackie's life and movingly documents the vita of a woman who found her way from a university student and journalist to the political world stage, who impressed others with her intellect and her interest in art, who was admired as a loving mother, who rose to become a style icon, and who polarized as a public persona. Along with photographs documenting Jackie's early childhood and youth, the exhibition also grants intimate insights into her private life with John F. Kennedy and sketches her life after his death up to her second marriage to Aristotle Onassis.
All of the photographs on display belong to the collection of CAMERA WORK AG. They not only serve as a means of historically documenting Jackie's life, but are also impressive due to their iconography, composition, and aesthetics. Thus, the collection includes photographs by well-known photographers such as Jacques Lowe, Bob Davidoff, and Mark Shaw, who, with his camera, captured numerous intimate moments in the life of Jackie. Works by German photographer Robert Lebeck, whose striking photo-icon of the mourning Jackie and her sister stunned the world, are also on display.
On the occasion of the 80th Birthday – MIKHAIL GORBACHEV
»From the Family Album«
February 25 – March 27, 2011
The Museum THE KENNEDYS is delighted to present you, from February 25 until March 27, on the occasion of the 80th birthday of Mikhail Gorbachev on March 2, the special exhibition MIKHAIL GORBACHEV »From the Family Album.«
In this special exhibition over 90 photographs, partly stemming from private collections, are on display. They provide previously unseen insights into the moving life of the statesman, Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev. Gorbachev was the Soviet head of state and party leader from 1985 to 1991 and was instrumental in the termination of the Cold War and the reunification of Germany. He strongly influenced history and politics through the introduction of the reforms of Perestroika (reorganization) and Glasnost (transparency).
The photographs chosen for this grand exhibition reflect the most important milestones of his life, therefore spanning his childhood days, his years of study, his political beginnings, and the apex of his political career.
The exhibition displays numerous photographs of Gorbachev not only with his wife Raisa, but also with political icons such as Ronald Reagan, Fidel Castro, Boris Yeltsin, Helmut Kohl, George Bush, and Margaret Thatcher.
Until today Gorbachev is involved with parties and international organizations. In 1990 Gorbachev was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work and, in 1992, he founded the Gorbachev Foundation in Moscow.
James Dean: A Different Icon
January 19 – February 20, 2011
With the beginning of the SHOWROOM DAYS BERLIN, the Museum THE KENNEDYS will embark on a journey through time to the mid-20th century. Alongside the political icon John F. Kennedy, the story of another icon of pop culture will be put into focus: James Dean. Starting on Wednesday, January 19, 2011, a special exhibition on the phenomenon James Dean will be put on display in the architecturally appealing premises of the museum. The Museum THE KENNEDYS offers its visitors the unique opportunity to learn about the special relationship between fashion, lifestyle, and James Dean, whose 80th birthday anniversary falls on February 8, 2011. Taking their cue from the motto of the SHOWROOM DAYS BERLIN, »How classy am I…«, visitors are encouraged to question the relationship between traditional values such as elegance and grace and the unique »Dean Style.«
Hardly any other Hollywood actor of the post-war era influenced an entire era and generation as substantially as did he. Even to this day, many myths and legends surround this illustrious figure, making James Dean an object of research in many scientific fields. Rebellious, dissident, and iconicic–it was not only James Dean's attitude towards life which perfectly mirrored the uniqueness of his personality within the world of Hollywood and beyond. With his unusual sense for fashion, he very consciously defied the strict conventions of the masses in the conservative America of the 1950s. Whether auditioning for a Broadway show in New York in ripped jeans and with bare feet–dressed, as journalists put it, »like a bum«–or iconographically portrayed by Magnum photographer Dennis Stock; James Dean polarized society with his frequently criticized affronts in fashion.
Fifteen photographs, some of which are deeply anchored in the collective memory, will be the main focus of the fashion days in the Museum THE KENNEDYS. With James Dean as the protagonist, they offer a thorough portrait of the actor's diversity in style. Along the photographs by Dennis Stock, many of the pieces on display were shot by Phil Stern and Roy Schatt, whose work was created in the context of a photography class with James Dean.
In order to gain a deeper insight into the life, impact, as well as the characteristics in style and fashion of James Dean, the Museum THE KENNEDYS invites not only fashion aficionados to take part in an interesting guided tour on Saturday, 22 January, 2011, at 3 p.m. In the context of the weekly »Students for the Kennedys« tours, you will get to know the in many ways even for a star actor unusual way of dressing, as well as experience the unique permanent exhibition of THE KENNEDYS. The price for the tour is included in the admission.