Wallraf-Richartz-Museum & Fondation Corboud

Rubens, You & I. Friendship Pictures 

What do we really understand by the word ‘friendship’ in these days of Facebook and social networking? What roles do we attribute to ourselves in a freely elected bond? And what relationship does this have to our self-image and our impact on others? The participants in a highly unusual exhibition project have adopted their own positions, in the literal sense of the word, to these questions: starting out from the group portrait Friends at Mantua by Peter Paul Rubens, they have examined the concept of friendship in past epochs at the Wallraf, and then staged themselves among the circle of their friends in a photo session. 


But the discussions have not only been conducted at the museum, they have also been taking place on the web, because all of the works have been published in a dedicated blog and on Facebook. These are now home to an ongoing discussion about current notions of friendship, and users can vote there to choose the six best photos, which will then enter into a thrilling dialogue in the exhibition at the Wallraf with the original painting by Rubens. The presentation will be rounded off by an interactive guestbook. Everyone who is interested can link up with the project by simply visiting www.rubensprojekt.wallraf.museum.