Wolfgang Tillmans takes an interest in the civic tasks of art as an affirmative propaganda tool. In 2017, he established the Between Bridges foundation (which is also the name of the gallery he co-runs, which currently concentrates primarily on issues of refugee rights) for “democracy, international cooperation, art and LGBT rights.” The foundation collaborates with graphic studios, advertising agencies, art and fashion magazines, NGOs, and cultural institutions, tapping into “corporate” aesthetics and distribution channels (social media, T-shirts, billboards) to fight authoritarianism and populism. The exhibition features a selection of posters from recent years’ political campaigns, co-created by Tillmans, which also incorporate his photographs, such as pro-EU/anti-Brexit Campaign (encouraging the Remain vote in the UK’s Brexit referendum, 2016), Protect the European Union against Nationalism (concerning the elections in Germany, the Netherlands and France, 2017), Bundestagswahl-Kampagne (on the occasion of the German local government elections, 2017), among other initiatives. In 2019, Tillmans joined the efforts to organize the Vote Together campaign, which encouraged participation in the European Parliament election. Tillmans regards the European Union as the largest and most lasting “peace project” in the continent’s history, developed in reaction to the experience of fascism and World War II.
Wolfgang Tillmans (b. 1968 in Remscheid, Germany) is a photographer who explores themes related to club culture, underground fashion and the everyday life of sexual minorities. Tillmans taps into various photographic conventions, such as still life, reportage, portrait, astrophotography, abstract photography, landscape, nature, fashion, documentary photography and the nude.