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The nineties project



(click here for full experience)

“The problem with youth-culture and the media today is that young people are given the impression that they actually are doing something, when in fact they are only needed as participants in a staged marketing event. Take for example MTV’s environmental and political messages, all they are is feel-good-messages which leave the viewer with a comforting feeling of “something is being done about the the shit in the world”. The same goes for style magazines’ interest in ‘real issues’ and the change of taste and fashion. Have the much talked about nineties really happened, or did we just believe they happened? As soon as the 1990 approached suddenly everyone new what the nineties would be like. The nineties sensibility was called more caring, softer and more true and real. But being almost halfway through this decade, the realness we were looking for turned out to be not much more that Kate Moss on a Calvin Klein poster. People really do believe that there has been change. We want things to be caring, aware and real, as long as we can carry on with our business the way we are. As no one is prepared to question power involved, anybody telling us that we are actually highly welcome. The feeling of guilt about eighties fuels the talk of the nineties, with all ambitious statements turning out to be wishful thinking. Because when in couple of years, or as we are already today, we will start to look for the new climate and new words that will ease our hang-over from the nineties, we will realize that nineties never really happened. They were just a change of taste, change of form, with everything underneath still intact and probably reinforced. Therefore all talk of future suggests that progress is being achieved. To be really futuristic we should maybe try and act out the promises of the nineties to their very last extent and last minute.

Wolfgang Tillmans, 1994


What happened in the nineties?

What were the ambitions and promises made for us. what are we doing for them. what are our ambitions and promises. what are we doing for them. do we feel real? 

The nineties project is an online exhibition featuring ten photography artists born on each year of the nineties reflecting on the era from the inside.

Selection curated by Sonya Kvasha.

Prints available from the exhibition catalogue.

Photential is a bold global art platform creating new ways to support both emerging and established artists and helping them present their work in exciting new ways.

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