True to Life? @bm_ag until 2 November

CIS:E.359-2010This exciting new exhibition of photography explores life in the Middle East but also the notion of photography itself. It examines the ideas of real, staged or imaginary documentary photography with visitors being challenged to question whether what they are seeing is real or not.

As well as works from Birmingham’s own collection, the exhibition also comprises of major works on loan from the Victoria & Albert Museum and the British Museum, with works from established artists alongside emerging talents. The works come from Tunisia to Iran and the ideas of migration and depictions of women are threaded throughout the exhibition.

The theme of what is true to life is especially pertinent to the political landscape of the Middle East in contemporary culture as the region is analysed and scrutinised across the globe and through international media on a daily basis. More than ever it is important for viewers to in turn scrutinise the footage and images they are shown to decide for themselves whether they are being presented with the whole picture or only a fragment of perceived truth.

The exhibition is free and is being run as part of The Art Fund Collection of Middle Eastern Photography, an initiative from 2011 for the V&A and British Museum to acquire a number images by Middle Eastern artists. SWJ

Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery | @bm_ag
Until 2 November

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