1 March - 10 May, 2014
PANOPTICUM, curated by Kevin Moore, was Robert Miller Gallery's first collaboration with the Herbert List Estate in over a decade, as well as the launch of a series of special projects re-contextualizing vintage photography with contemporary works in various media. The exhibition included a new large-scale dystopian installation by Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe commissioned by Robert Miller Gallery, as well as works by Robert Beck, Michaël Borremans, Mark Dion, Robert Heinecken, Tricia Lawless Murray, Cindy Sherman, and Taryn Simon. Curator Kevin Moore says of the exhibition:
“PANOPTICUM—‘with all visible’—borrows its title from a late nineteenth-century Viennese chamber of horrors, featuring wax figures depicting crime scenes, medical oddities, and other luridly voyeuristic entertainments. German photographer Herbert List (1903-1975) photographed this threadbare spectacle in 1944, adding a layer of Surrealist dis-ease to the mix. List’s photographs, a large selection of which are included in the current exhibition, revealed the discrepancies between what might seem to be an edifying scientific exposition and a cabinet of modern social pathologies.
The thrilling effects of such encounters continues today in contemporary society’s fascination with crime dramas, forensic science, plastic surgery, and at the intersections between modern science, human biology, and the culture’s darkest fantasies. As a preponderance of supernatural phenomena in film and television, plus the continuous feed of lurid Yahoo headlines show, there is apparently no bottom to the stomach of this culture gorging on its own fears and faits divers.”