Brazilian artist Vik Muniz is exhibiting at Galerie Templon in Brussels for the first time, where he will be showing Album, an exhibition of new photographs.
Muniz is known for his use of unlikely materials such as dust, toys, wire, caviar and diamonds to recreate images drawn from our collective memory. He is a photographer who uses metaphor as a new medium, questioning the nature of representation.
In Album, Muniz explores the relationship between the personal and the universal, piecing together archetypal scenes from family photo albums using thousands of found black and white photos he has collected over the years. A proud father displaying the fish he has caught, a young boy dressed as a cowboy, a museum visit: each scene is packed with reassembled fragments of other memories. Muniz’s vision, both nostalgic and harsh, shows us a world where torn-up slivers of lives help to create something new, something larger and more beautiful.
His work confronts one of the major turning points in image-making: the shift from the world of traditional photography, where the photo album preserves life stories that become almost sacred, to a media culture, where digital images are both omnipresent and illusory. His work thus calls into question the authenticity of images and our perceptions.
Born in 1961 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Vik Muniz lives and works in New York. His work has been shown extensively at many major international institutions, including: the International Center of Photography, New York (1998); Museu de Arte Moderna, São Paulo and Museu de Art Moderna, Rio de Janeiro (2001); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2001); Menil Collection, Houston (2002); Centro Gallego de Arte Contemporanea, Santiago de Compostela, Spain (2003); Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Rome (2003), and the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2008).
Vik Muniz represented Brazil at the 49th Biennale in Venice in 2001. From 2006 to 2009, a retrospective of his work travelled between a whole plethora of leading museums: the Miami Art Museum, University of South Florida; Seattle Art Museum; PS1 (New York); Museum of Contemporary Art (San Diego); Museum of Contemporary Art (Montreal); Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso, (Mexico); MASP, (Sao Paulo), and MAM, (Rio de Janeiro).
Muniz is fascinated by the idea of waste, and in 2010 he contributed to Waste Land, a documentary directed by Lucy Walker that helped to bring his work to an even wider audience. Recently, his work has been shown at the Jeonbuk Museum of Art and Gana Art Center, both in Korea (2011), Nichido Contemporary Art, Tokyo (2010), and Rencontres d’Arles photography festival in France (2014).