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ANDY WIENER
LIFE STORIES (PHOTOGRAPHING BELOW THE SURFACE)
Ran from: 3rd Nov - 9th Dec 2012

Andy Wiener







This major exhibition by Wiener premieres his new series 'Life Story Work', produced between 2008 and 2012, and re-presents two earlier bodies of work from the late 1980s ('A Rake's Progress' and 'Love Scenes').

In the recent work, he explores his heritage as well as different childhood and adult identities to provide an insightful view of his male identity – Wieners father was a German Jewish Refugee and his mother Irish-Scottish. He was raised in Scotland but he has spent the past 27 years living and working in England. All the photographs are of Wiener, usually taken by other people, under his direction and the images are constructed, so unlike documentary images they do not provoke a feeling of authenticity. The title is taken from the social work practice of Life Story Work, a process through which children who are in foster care and their social workers use photographs as a way of maintaining a record of people and places that have been important to the child, with the ultimate goal of helping to preserve the child's sense of identity.



Andy Wiener In Situ









Wiener was one of the first photographers to use the photographic mask technique in the 80s. In the series 'A Rakes Progress' (1986), he reinterprets Hogarth's tale from 1735 where the Modern Bedlam is the living room and the domesticity of marriage. The photographic tableaux 'Love Scenes' (1988) uses masks of dolls - Barbie, Ken and He-Man to tell the story of preadolescent adults – after marrying the nice guy (Ken), she, probably out of boredom, falls for the physically powerful He-Man. She divorces Ken to marry He-Man whose brutal force destroys her psychologically and physically.

'His photographs are humorous but also challenging. The composition and style of the photographs are formal, but there is always a twist, usually an uncomfortable one. Rather than being a photographer of reality, he photographs things that are going on under the surface, behind reality.' (Scottish National Photography Collection)
Andy Wiener In Situ


























This is the first time these two bodies of works have been seen since the early nineties when they were shown at Stills in Edinburgh (1990) before touring to other galleries, such as Impressions (York) and Ffotogallery (Cardiff). Wiener studed photography at the Royal College of Art between 1984 and 1986 after qualifying as a doctor. He practices as a consultant child psychiatrist in North London. The investigation of the self, and the investigation of the unconscious, is a common thread that runs through his photographic and psychiatric practice.

His work is held in the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.
A monograph, 'Cautionary Tales' was published by Cornerhouse Publications, Manchester, in 1990. 'Life Story Work' was first previewed in 'Studies in Photography' in 2009. His work is held in the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

A minigraph with a commissioned essay by Jim Lawson is available to accompany the exhibition. Andy Wiener In Situ

Andy Wiener In Situ

Andy Wiener In Situ

Andy Wiener In Situ

Andy Wiener In Situ