Wendy Ewald, »Secret Games« - Collaboration with Children
With »Secret Games« the Gallery Parrotta presents the first exhibition of the 1951 born American photographer, conceptual and video artist Wendy Ewald in Germany. For more than thirty years Wendy Ewald gives cameras to children, to work together with them, documenting and bringing out their dreams, fears and experiences of their daily life in pictures and words.As the project of her life, Wendy Ewald travelled around the world, to take pictures with children from different cultural and social backgrounds. Our stereotypical perceptions of childhood and innocent eyes are totally taken away through their pictures in one click. In a merciless, intensive and from time to time unsettling poetical way, the children show in their photographs their environment and put themselves into the pictures to bring their own meaning into it. It is the interchanging of position of power that makes the work of Wendy Ewald so deeply intensive and powerful. She creates situations to bring to the surface what attracts the children and what seemed to them important enough to tell. Therefore we see kaleidoscopical portraits of childhood, made of turbulent, dreamt, thoughtful and melancholical moments between reality and fiction, which evoke affections of closeness but on the other hand are inapproachable.
Wendy Ewald has received many honors, including a MacArthur Fellowship and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Andy Warhol Foundation, and the Fulbright Commission. She was also a senior fellow at the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at the New School from 2000-2002. She has had solo exhibitions at the International Center of Photography in New York, the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, the George Eastman House in Rochester, Nederlands Foto Institute in Rotterdam, the Fotomuseum in Wintherthur, Switzerland, and the Corcoran Gallery of American Art among others. Her work was included in the 1997 Whitney Biennial. She has published ten books, her fifth, a retrospective documenting her projects entitled Secret Games, was published by Scalo in 2000. Two books on recent projects were published in 2005. A third, To The Promised land was published in 2006 to accompany an outdoor installation in Margate, England commissioned by ArtAngel. She is currently teaching at Amherst College. She also remains an artist in residence at the John Hope Franklin Center and senior research associate at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. (1) 'Play it - Kunst und Spiel' ist ein Projekt von über 30 Kunst- und Kulturinstitutionen in Stuttgart zu der es im Mai eine von Werner Meyer kuratierten Ausstellung geben wird und an der sich auch die Staatsgalerie Stuttgart mit einer Sonderausstellung beteiligt.