I am here!

From Rembrandt to the selfie

Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe
31. 10. 2015 – 31. 1. 2016

The self-portrait occupies a core place in the history of European art. Ever since the Renaissance, and in some cases even earlier, artists have self-consciously created images of themselves. The exhibition "I am here! From Rembrandt to the selfie" presents an exciting selection of artistic self-images, in various media spanning six centuries, from Rembrandt to the selfie. The topic is more relevant than ever, as social media thrive on self-portraits and the continual presentation of self.

Ai Weiwei, Illumination, 2014 © Ai Weiwei, The image is courtesy of Ai Weiwei Studio
Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, Self-Portrait, around 1650 © bpk / Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe
Vincenzo Campi, The Ricotta Eaters, 1580 © Lyon MBA – Photo Alain Basset
Marie Ellenrieder, Self-Portrait, 1818 © bpk / Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe

The exhibition especially reveals the shifting faces of French, British, and German art production, with the some 140 featured works coming from three major European collections that complement each other brilliantly:

Lyon’s Musée des Beaux-Arts, the National Galleries of Scotland in Edinburgh, and the Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe. Held as part of the EU-funded project "I am here. European Faces", the exhibition includes works by Palma Vecchio, Gustave Courbet, Anselm Feuerbach, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Henri Matisse, Max Beckmann, Andy Warhol, Marina Abramović, Tracey Emin. Launched in Karlsruhe, the show will later travel to Lyon and Edinburgh.

The exhibition also offers viewers the chance to observe themselves in a magical mirror, using the interactive media artwork Flick_EU / FLICK_EU MIRROR, designed by our cooperation partner ZKM ǀ Karlsruhe. Meanwhile, the Junge Kunsthalle takes a closer look at the current popularity of selfies, which reflects the virtual form of the idealized self-image in mass circulation.
More about the exhibition


Companion Exhibition to "I am here!"
Junge Kunsthalle

Self-awareness and self-representation carry great importance in the lives of children and those coming of age. How do our young visitors perceive and represent themselves? Within this process, what roles do age, sex, ancestry, and fashion play? What impact do our social networks have on the configuration of the self?

Accompanying the six centuries of artistic self-portraits on display in the main building, the exhibition in the “Junge Kunsthalle” seeks to encourage reflection on today’s forms of self-presentation in digital media. It features various activities involving perception, designed to support the development of identity in youth through experimentation with various creative and imaginative aesthetic styles. 
More about the companion exhibition