Jersey City, NJ
From official portraits and campaign ads to selfies and televised debates, images play an essential role in every presidential campaign. Now, Winning the White House: From Press Prints to Selfies—a new thought-provoking special exhibition presented by International Center of Photography—explores the complex relationship between candidates’ representations in visual media and their carefully created and tightly controlled campaign images.
“Since the time of Abraham Lincoln through the present day, presidential candidates have used photographic imagery in their campaigns to impact public opinion,” says Claartje van Dijk, Assistant Curator of ICP. “While staged and curated press prints have historically been the tools of choice for candidates to reach and perform for their electorate, the delivery method has shifted from print publications to broadcast to computer and mobile phone screens—and the imagery has become more personal, more immediate and seemingly more off-the-cuff. With Winning the White House we examine that evolution and put it side to side with the screened selection of campaign images.”
“While professional press photographers continue to cover every campaign stop for major media outlets like their predecessors, they are now joined by thousands of amateur photographers,” adds Susan Carlson, Assistant Curator of ICP and van Dijk’s co-curator for Winning the White House. “With the rise of smart-phone technology and the rapid rate at which images are released on social media, the 2016 campaigns are seeing an even greater demand for visual content. This provides us with a timely opportunity to explore photography’s significant role in elections.”
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.