The Order of Things: Photography from the Walther Collection
May 17-October 10, 2015
The Walther Collection, Neu-Ulm, Germany

The Walther Collection presents The Order of Things: Photography from The Walther Collection, a survey exhibition exploring how the organization of photographs into systematic sequences or typologies has affected modern visual culture. The Order of Things investigates the production and uses of serial portraiture, conceptual structures, vernacular imagery, and time-based performance in photography from the 1880s to the present, bringing together works by artists from Europe, Africa, Asia, and North America. The exhibition, curated by Brian Wallis, former Chief Curator at the International Center of Photography in New York, will be on view at The Walther Collection in Neu-Ulm, Germany, beginning May 17, 2015, and will be accompanied by a catalogue published by Steidl/The Walther Collection.


Throughout the modern era, photography has been enlisted to classify the world and its people. Driven by a belief in the scientific objectivity of photographic evidence, the logics utilized to classify photographs-in groups and categories or sequences of identically organized images-also shape our visual consciousness. In the twenty-first-century, new digital technologies and globalization have radically transformed the applications of photography, making the reconsideration of photographic information systems ever more urgent. The Order of Things proposes a political and philosophical basis for understanding recent organizational methods in global photography, examining not only the ambivalent meanings of the documentary photography but also the social conditions of the image in contemporary culture. The first major exhibition to investigate this critical cross-cultural direction in photography, The Order of Things shows the diverse ways that photographers have engaged sequential organizing strategies-or sought to subvert them.