Artwork Detail

Poster Sale
German, b. 1968
40 color photographs
14 x 10 "
University purchase, Parsons Fund and Art Acquisition Fund, 2006
WU 2006.0002
Christian Jankowski uses photography and video as a foundation from which to generate participatory experiences that actively criticize our media-saturated society. Often this takes the form of an intervention in an existing aspect of the art world, such as the dealer/artist relationship, the exhibition, the art market, or the means of producing an artwork. In "Poster Sale," a series of forty photographs, Jankowski addresses questions of public and communal identity, in particular the ways in which images of popular culture contribute to the construction of individuality. Invited to Washington University in St. Louis for an artist’s lecture and an exhibition in 2002, Jankowski was inspired to photograph students posing with posters they had just purchased at the University’s annual poster sale. Jankowski approached students, discussed with them their poster selection, and invited them to participate in his artwork. These photographs allow viewers a glimpse into the students’ personal interests through their selected images—of consumer goods, film posters, pop and movie stars, pinup girls, works of art, famous buildings. In the photographs the students become part of the same visual fabric as the pictures they are holding, but many of the students seem aware of this duality as they pose, some confidently, others shyly, in a rite of passage for the college student, the selection of imagery to decorate their dorm rooms. [Exhibition brochure text, 2010]