Fotografiska’s new exhibition “Infamous” shows the racist history of the United States
Text Timo Huttunen Photos © Andres Serrano
On Friday, a new exhibition entitled “Infamous” by celebrated artist Andres Serrano opened at Fotografiska in Tallinn. The idea for the exhibition was born from an earlier exhibition the artist did depicting Donald Trump.
While searching the internet for Trump-related items, Serrano discovered numerous items representing 19th-century blackface culture.
The artist began to buy and photograph these objects, while at the same time facing the dark history of his country. The exhibition depicts how racism still manifests itself in different forms today.
Andres Serrano is known for his colour photographs that seek to broaden our understanding of various social issues and taboos such as racism, religious persecution, torture and death. Because of his work, he has become the centre of discussion when it comes to censorship and public funding of controversial art.
The exhibition includes, among other things, a portrait of one of the most notorious figures of the 21st century, Jeffrey Epstein.
“Andres Serrano is not afraid to speak about the challenging topics of history. The artist himself describes the exhibition as a journey into the notorious past of his society,” says Maarja Loorents, founder and exhibition manager at Fotografiska Tallinn.
“The past goes with us even today, and events that were lost in history ages ago still affect us. We are also shackled by a stereotypical worldview. I hope that this exhibition shakes up our views”, Loorents continues.
Andres Serrano (1950) is a provocative American artist. One of his most famous works is the controversial “Piss-Christ”, a photograph of a crucifix that the artist has immersed in his own urine.
The works “Blood and Semen III” and “Piss and Blood” have been used as album covers by the band Metallica.
Recently, Serrano released his debut film “Insurrection”. It premiered on January 6, 2022, exactly one year after the attack on the Capitol in Washington. The film contains both historical material and video clips published on social media during the riot.
“I don’t want to brag, but I think it’s one of the most violent and controversial films ever made,” says Serrano.