Wolfgang Tillmans: What Is Different?

Jahresring 64

Preface by Bridget Oetker and Isabel Podeschwa. Introduction by Wolfgang Tillmans. Contributions by Philipp Hübl, Jonas Kaplan, Joe Keohane, and Michael Seemann. Interviews with Lionel Barber, Carolin Emcke, Sigmar Gabriel, Bianca Klose, Stephan Lewandowsky, Brendan Nyhan, and Wolfgang Schäuble by Wolfgang Tillmans

What Is Different? is the title of this year’s edition of Sternberg Press's Jahresring, guest-edited and designed by Wolfgang Tillmans. Since the early 2000s Tillmans has been working on truth study centre, a series of works concerned with absolute claims of truth in social and political contexts. 

Circling around contemporary issues of newly resurfaced right-wing populism, the phenomenon of fake news, and psychological findings such as the backfire effect, Tillmans, rather than analyzing the status quo, focuses on what has changed in the past ten, twenty, thirty, forty years. Why are societal consensus and institutions now under attack? 

Tillmans interviewed scientists, politicians, journalists, and social workers, highlighting the issues at stake from various angles. The publication also contains analytic texts and studies that shed further light on what happens in our brain, ethics, and online behavior when we are confronted with statements that oppose our political beliefs. Tillmans associated these texts with his own images as well as visual material found in print and online. While designing this year’s Jahresring, he has created photocopy works using the four-color scan process on a machine from the 1990s—an early digital collage technique that resonates with the complexity of the situation we find ourselves in today.


Publisher: Sternberg Press

Artists: Wolfgang Tillmans

Designer: Wolfgang Tillmans

Printer: BUD Potsdam

Publication Date: 2018

Binding: Softcover

Dimensions: 6 ¾ × 9 ½ | 17.1 × 24.1 cm

Pages: 228

Reproductions: illustrated throughout

ISBN: 9783956793738

Retail: $30 | £20 | 235 HKD

Status: Available

Wolfgang Tillmans

Few artists have shaped the scope of contemporary art and influenced a younger generation more than Wolfgang Tillmans. Since the early 1990s, his works have epitomized a new kind of subjectivity in photography, pairing intimacy and playfulness with social critique and the persistent questioning of existing values and hierarchies. Through his seamless integration of genres, subjects, techniques, and exhibition strategies, he has expanded conventional ways of approaching the medium and his practice continues to address the fundamental question of what it means to create pictures in an increasingly image-saturated world.

All Wolfgang Tillmans books