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Whose Reality Is It?

THEMUSEUM is proud to present Whose Reality Is It?, an exhibition of photographs by Joan Sanger that allows us to contemplate the exciting lifestyles modelled by storefront mannequins, in stark contrast to the technologically-absorbed lives many of us now lead. Joan Sanger has travelled the world photographing these glamorous, posed figures that seem to come alive in their static window displays. At the same time, she has observed the detached and confined lives of the people who surround these artificial models of our imagined reality. Her series of photographs in this exhibition are juxtaposed with projected images of people on their gadgets. Whose reality is it: the vibrant mannequins or the disconnected, yet ‘connected’ people?

Whose Reality Is It? provides multiple perspectives for the viewer to consider: the mannequins are lively and attractive, but also fabricated and unattainable. Yet, how can we determine what is real and what is not, when our free moments are spent polishing unrealistic images of ourselves on social media and inside virtual realities? Joan Sanger puts forth a series of questions for visitors, asking us to look at these idealized illusions, whether they be virtual or tangible, that are created to distract us from engaging in sincere, fulfilling lives with those around us.

This exhibition embraces interactive engagement; visitors are welcome to take photos with the mannequins and become part of their scenes, to mimic and re-interpret their poses and share them with their friends and family, or on social media with the hashtag #ModelCitizensKW.


Why open THEMUSEUM newsletters?

"Just scanning the themes here, I think you and the programming team should be very proud of the relevance of your institution to so many of the important conversations of our time. Please keep doing what you’re doing!"

- Glen Drummond, Chief Innovation Officer,