The exhibition is called Women: New Portraits. Since 1999, Annie Leibovitz and Susan Sontag worked on a collection of pictures that show strong women from all over the world. Zurich is the last stop on the world tour, which started about a year ago and spanned 10 cities around the globe.
The location – EWZ Selnau – is an old industrial hall in the center of Zurich. The setup of the exhibition is unpretentious, lofty, rather simple. The large pin board along the wall is fitted with many portraits. Some of them are legendary, like the one from John Lennon and Yoko Ono. The pin board gives the exhibition a conceptual look and feel. I really enjoy this rather informal setup. It reduces the distance between the artwork and visitor. It encourages discussions. You walk back and forth to read, to compare or to look again at details. Though, this may get difficult with many visitors. In the middle of the room, the organizers created something like a room in the room with three large screens on each side plus a number of chairs. All portraits are shown in a slide show on those screens. Music plays in the background. Very relaxing, comfortable and interesting to watch. In the back of the room you will find a comfy lounge with a long table full of photography books.
To me Annie Leibovitz is an icon. I love the way how she captures the spur of the moment, how she sees through big titles and fame. Her pictures transport so many different emotions, a talent that is rare to find these days. My personal favorite is the portrait of Jane Goodall. It shows so much dignity, determination but also a very soft side of her. Annie Leibovitz must be a very sensitive person with great empathy. I am glad that she managed to keep these qualities throughout her unparalleled career.A strong woman indeed!
Exhibition: Women: New Portraits
Location: ewz-Unterwerk Selnau, Zurich
From: January 28 to February 19, 2017
Admission: free of charge – sponsored by UBS
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 10 am to 6 pm (latest entry at 5 pm) / Thu until 8 pm
Recommendation: You may want to visit the exhibition on a Thursday evening. I found that the large windows cause too much reflection on the screens.