Civilization: The Way We Live Now

2 Jun-17 Sep 2023

Saatchi Gallery
London SW3 4RY


Saatchi Gallery presents Civilization: The Way We Live Now, an international exhibition offering an unprecedented look at 150 contemporary photographers tracking the visual threads of humankind’s ever-changing, extraordinarily complex life across the globe.  
Featuring many previously unseen images, this landmark exhibition acknowledges the diverse material and spiritual cultures that make up global “civilization” today. Exploring a wide range of subjects, from our great collective achievements to our ruinous collective failings, Civilization: The Way We Live Now highlights the complexity and contradictions of contemporary civilization.
Participating photographers practising across all five continents; from Reiner Riedler’s families cavorting at leisure parks, through Raimond Wouda’s high school subculture, Wang Qingsong’s parody of insane work habits, to Lauren Greenfield’s displays of ostentatious wealth, Edward Burtynsky’s study of fragile water resources, Pablo Lopez Luz’s views on a sprawling contemporary megapolis, Thomas Struth’s vision of past civilizational glories and Xing Danwen’s electronic wastelands, Civilization draws together powerful imagery into a new, unique and challenging discourse.
A collaboration between Saatchi Gallery and the Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography, with curators William A. Ewing and Holly Roussell, the highly-anticipated exhibition has toured in major museums across Korea, China, Australia, New Zealand, France and Italy and includes a new selection of works curated especially for this London edition at Saatchi Gallery. In addition to the photographers with decades of experience, Civilization features the work of many mid-career, as well as emerging talents.
As curator William A. Ewing explains, “Photographers are at work everywhere, photographing everything, using their eyes and their minds to seize telling moments in the rapid flux with sharp, vivid images. Photographers are our civilization’s eyes... Ironically, it may be that many of these photographs will last longer than the monuments and artefacts that they depict. London has always been a great centre for the celebration of photography from all corners of the globe, filled with collections, archives, museums and galleries deeply committed to the promotion of this vital art form. We curators have been privileged to benefit from many loans from these sources, and welcome Saatchi Gallery’s invitation to share the fruits of our research with a London audience.”

Exhibiting Photographers:
Max Aguilera-Hellweg, Andreia Alves de Oliveira, Evan Baden, Murray Ballard, Olivo Barbieri, Mandy Barker, Lisa Barnard, Olaf Otto Becker, Valérie Belin, Daniel Berehulak, Mathieu Bernard-Reymond, Peter Bialobrzeski, Florian Böhm, Michele Borzoni, Priscilla Briggs, Paul Bulteel, Edward Burtynsky, Alejandro Cartagena, Philippe Chancel, Che Onejoon, Olivier Christinat, Lynne Cohen, Lois Conner, Raphaël Dallaporta, Susan Derges, Gerco de Ruijter, Richard de Tscharner, Sergey Dolzhenko, Natan Dvir, Roger Eberhard, Mitch Epstein, Andrew Esiebo, Adam Ferguson, Vincent Fournier, Andy Freeberg, Matthieu Gafsou, Andreas Gefeller, George Georgiou, Christoph Gielen, Ashley Gilbertson, Katy Grannan, Samuel Gratacap, Lauren Greenfield, Han Sungpil, Nick Hannes, Sean Hemmerle, Mishka Henner, South Ho Siu Nam, Candida Höfer, Dan Holdsworth, Hong Hao, Aimée Hoving, Pieter Hugo, Leila Jeffreys, Jo Choonman, Chris Jordan, Yeondoo Jung, Nadav Kander, KDK, Mike Kelley, Kim Taedong, Alfred Ko, Irene Kung, Benny Lam, Sonia Lenzi, Gjorgji Lichovski, Michael Light, Mauricio Lima, Sheng-Wen Lo, Pablo López Luz, Christian Lünig, Alex MacLean, David Maisel, Ann Mandelbaum, Edgar Martins, Jeffrey Milstein, Mintio, Richard Misrach, Andrew Moore, David Moore, Richard Mosse, Michael Najjar, Walter Niedermayr, Jason Sangik Noh, Noh Suntag, Simon Norfolk, Trent Parke, Cara Phillips, Robert Polidori, Sergey Ponomarev, Cyril Porchet, Mark Power, Giles Price, Reiner Riedler, Simon Roberts, Andrew Rowat, Victoria Sambunaris, Sato Shintaro, Dona Schwartz, Paul Shambroom, Chen Shaoxiong, Toshio Shibata, Corinne Silva, Alec Soth, Henrik Spohler, Will Steacy, Thomas Struth, Larry Sultan, Shigeru Takato, Eric Thayer, Danila Tkachenko, Eason Tsang Ka Wai, Andreas Tschersich, Amalia Ulman, Brian Ulrich, Penelope Umbrico, Johanna Urschel, Carlo Valsecchi, Reginald Van de Velde, Cássio Vasconcellos, Massimo Vitali, Robert Walker, Dougie Wallace, Richard Wallbank, Wang Qingsong, Patrick Weidmann, Thomas Weinberger, Damon Winter, Michael Wolf, Paolo Woods and Gabriele Galimberti, Raimond Wouda, Xing Danwen, Ahmad Zamroni, Luca Zanier, Zhang Xiao, Robert Zhao Renhui, Francesco Zizola.