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Berlin based artist Tobias Zielony (born in 1973 in Wuppertal) is one of the most discussed German photographers of his generation. In a major one-man show, the Berlinische Galerie will exhibit his latest project Jenny Jenny (2011–13) and the series Trona (2008).

About the exhibition (from the website of Berlinische Galerie): For more than ten years now, Tobias Zielony has been taking portraits of young people encountered on the urban and social margins of Western welfare states. This is where he finds his themes, in places where the achievements of the modern age are falling apart and the promise of a community founded on solidarity has lost its enchantment (…).

The 18-part series Trona (2008) depicts young people from the desert community of that name not far from Los Angeles. When the former industrial town began falling apart in the wake of economic changes, many of its residents resorted to crystal meth as a drug to numb their senses. Trona is typical of many impoverished towns in rural America. Zielony asks what happens when social and institutional structures break down and people are thrown back on their own resources.

His latest project is called Jenny Jenny. The subjects are young women, some of whom earn their money by selling sex. But the facts are fluid, and so are the roles – both those adopted by the women themselves and those attributed to them by society. The idea that the true essence of a person or moment in time will be revealed is a myth. Zielony has evidently drawn clear conclusions about both the authenticity of the subject and the objectivity of the documentary image: neither is ever free of staging.

Read full text here.

Tobias Zielony: Jenny Jenny
Exhibition opening: 20.06.2013, 7 pm
Dates: 21.06.–30.09.2013

Berlinische Galerie
Alte Jakobstraße 124–128
10969 Berlin

Photo: Tobias Zielony, BMX, 2008, from the series Trona