Life World

Life World

Life World is a selection of photographic works from the Collection of Isabel and Agustín Coppel, curated by Tanya Barson. Inspired by the writings of Czech-Brazilian philosopher Vilém Flusser (1920-1991), the exhibition seeks to explore the notion of a philosophy of photography or, as Flusser put it, to ‘contribute to a discussion about the subject “photography” in a philosophical spirit.’ It aims to show how photography became a key tool for the development of human consciousness and also reflects on the question of the philosophical status of photography at the moment when Flusser was writing, beginning with his book ‘Towards a Philosophy of Photography’(1983) and continuing with ‘Into the Universe of Technical Images’ (1985), a moment when the transition from photography as an object to photography in the digital age was beginning to occur. The exhibition draws from and examines the rich spectrum of photography included in the Isabel and Agustín Coppel Collection and reviews its’ picturing of the life-world in which we all exist.

For this exhibition this idea of being, and consciousness, is examined through three notions drawn from philosophical (phenomenological) thinking, namely the social world (mitwelt), the environment or world-around (umwelt) and the inner or own world (eigenwelt). Thus, organised into three principal groupings of images, this exhibition examines the role that photography has played in communicating what it means to exist, how we exist with others and how we develop an independent existence and a sense of our own self; in each, photography acts as a way to reflect on the challenge of being-in-the-world. As a preface to these three sections, there is a selected group of works that together question, “What is a photograph?”, addressing some of the characteristics of photography that Flusser proposes in his statements about photography and its philosophical status.



  • February 27, 2017-April 25,2017
  • Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo
  • Read: Tanya Barson essay