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Vue de l'exposition "Portrait of a Young Planet. Mudam Collection", 26.09.2020 – 21.03.2021, Mudam Luxembourg
Portrait of a Young Planet

Collection presentation

This Mudam Collection display takes inspiration from the iconic exhibition The Family of Man curated by Edward Steichen (1879, Bivange – 1973, West Redding). Originally presented at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1955, the exhibition toured to over 150 museums worldwide from 1955 to 1962 and has been on permanent display at Clervaux Castle in Luxembourg since 1994.

This display and the presentation of Thomas Hirschhorn’s (b. 1957, Bern) Flugplatz Welt/World Airport (1999) in the West Gallery are part of a broader project that includes a specially commissioned digital platform, Me Family. Portrait of a Young Planet. Curated for Mudam by Francesco Bonami with the assistance of Emanuela Mazzonis di Pralafera, this presentation and the expanded online project poses the question of how to represent humanity at the start of the 21st century. Portrait of a Young Planet, presents a selection of works from the Mudam Collection that consider the question of the human condition and the way in which the individual also associates himself with various communities. Man is a social animal who, regardless of his gender, origin or environment, interacts with others. He is thus, by nature, driven to share his experiences, his feelings, his habits and his life. Today, the circulation of news, images or ideas is also part of our daily life and our multi-faceted and connected world. This complexity can be seen in the work by Hassan Khan (b. 1975, London) The Hidden Location (2004), which depicts the multicultural city of Cairo, or in Wolfgang Tillmans’s (b. 1968, Reimscheid) 22 Portraits (2000–18), which, through individual photographs of relatives, friends or strangers, draws a broader portrait of our society. Alternatively, the 70 interviews conducted by Cristina Lucas (b. 1973, Jaén) for her video Philosophical Capitalism (2014–16), on the interpretation of philosophical and existential notions. The works in this display present the notion of the human condition through the prism of diverse social, historical and personal circumstances raising questions such as: What is Man’s role in the globalised society of the 21st century? How do we deal with the profusion of images and information circulated in contemporary media? Do individuals see themselves as part of a group or are they more inclined to withdraw and live in isolation?