I hadnt realized how much money goes to the arts from corporate sponsorship. I am envious of Whitney and her access to such priceless works of art, especially the huge collection of very well known photographers. I was so impressed by the big names on the walls, it was not what i expected at all. Her experience of buying art at auction on the daily made me want her job. She has knowledge of so many photographers and artists, and so much of that just comes with experience.
I felt very lucky to be allowed access to all the spaces that we saw. The private dining rooms were elegant, yet small, but with an amazing view of the city. We saw work from some of the biggest names in photography (Lee Friedlander, Harry Calahan, Julia Margaret Cameron, Henry Cartier-Bresson). I was happy to see so many photographs. When I think of a corporate space like that, I don’t necessarily think about priceless original photographs. It is good to see that it is appreciated.
I thought it was interesting when Whitney was talking about choosing artwork for these spaces. She told us about a man who had a Joel Peter Witkin photograph put up in his office and had it covered with a velvet cloth. I would think that this could happen a lot as most big name photographers deal with controversial issues. I think it would be difficult to choose what photograph should go where without knowledge of the people inhibiting that space.
This show was a little hard to grasp because of how conceptual it was. Once i got into it though it was very thought provoking. It was interesting going through the show in the order that i did (Terada then Baxter&) because Terada’s work was so much more conceptually based, the ideas were much more abstract. It seemed that it would have been better to see Baxter& first as somewhat of a warmup for the next show to come.
All that said, i was really struck by the Baxter&’s work. He seemed to really be dissecting ideas that a lot of us think about. The N. E. Thing Co. project was very interesting. The portion of “Aesthetically Claimed Things” and “Aesthetically Rejected Things” really made me think. He took all these things prominent in either pop culture or the art world and labeled them as such. I did not get the feeling that it was a man choosing if something was one or the other, but that these things were just labeled as they were. Baxter& is not Rejecting or Claiming these items, he is representing things that we as a culture have either Rejected or Claimed.
The titles of these pieces were so important to each individual thing. Not only was it written in sharpie on each photograph (along with either a gold or red sticker) but the titles told us exactly what we were looking at. exactly. Baxter& was not held back by the concept of short titles. Heres an example: “ACT #107 Triangular Shaped Visual Sensitivity Information, Telecasted View of Moons Surface from inside Apollo 8 Spacecraft through Window as Seen on Canadian National CBC TV over Sanyo TV set 9”, in North Vancouver, BC Canada December 25 1968,” 1969. He is very thorough in his explanations of what we are looking at, he is not trying to hide anything, because it is not about the object as much as it is about how we have either accepted it or denied it a place in memorable history.
if you have 10 minutes…
i know im behind on a couple bloggies.
but this interview is too good. you all should listen.
Martin Parr interview
The internet has changed photography completely. Thanks to internet we are subjected to a total overload of imagery all the time. We see pictures everywhere on the internet. So how can we know which ones should be taken seriously?
Blogs have changed the photography world in the way that artists get their work out there. We all are allowed to have online space, but it is what we do with it that will set us apart. I think that the design of a blog or website only has so much to do with how we percieve the artists work. The design and navigation of a website can make it more or less enjoyable, but in the end it will all come down to the work itself. It is important to be able to see the pictures in a large size so that we can really see them for what they are. If you are shown too many pictures, you can become overwhelmed and uninterested in the artist’s work. Another problem that comes to mind is the transfer of the color and quality of the images from one monitor to another.
I think artists can really benefit from using blogs. They provide a place to experiment with what kind of work they want to persue. They can get feedback from their viewers. They are able to show their veiwers (or can we call them “fans” in this context?) what they are working on this very moment. I think this is the beauty of blogs. You are able to show the world a photograph you took that very same day.
That being said, a photographer that has caught my interest recently is Noah Kalina. His blog, i think, is much better than his website. It has a lot more work on it, and is updated (clearly) more often than the website. He is able to show ongoing projects, and they seem to create themselves over time. Also, the blog allows him to interject video work he has done. He has an interesting style and I think the blog has been a very good tool for him.
Noah Kalina. Blog.
I was very impressed by this show. I think in comparison to Our Origins it was a very strong, well thought out exhibit. Every piece was relevent. My favorite section of the show was the room off to the right. When you enter the room your attention is immediately drawn to the huge installation of 24 images taken by Deborah Luster. The piece was called “Teeth for an Eye”. There was no way to miss it when you walked into the room. The individual images were each 2 ft by 2 ft, and they were stacked 4 pictures high on the wall. Every image was taken in a place where a murder had happened. On the card next to the piece every crime was described. I thought this added a whole different level to the piece. Also the format of the pictures (being round) made for a very interesting perspective on these locations. They made you really look IN to the pictures, and you were put right into these locations.
In the same room, around the rest of the walls was a project done by Christian Patterson. This was by far my favorite piece of the show. He took photographs of locations and small bits that were related to a teen couple who went on a killing spree. He uses a few different mediums in the piece. All of the photographs are pigment prints. This gave them a very rich a vivid color. I think of “Falling Flowers” (i think my favorite one) of a corner of a room with floral wallpaper. Also “House on Fire” really has a huge range of vibrant colors that would not be acheivable with a classic c-print. I thought the project was very eerie and intriguing. You were shown the remnents of the crimes including an old telephone, a country road at night, bloody snow (which may have been set up by Patterson), and a shotgun shell.
I really liked Patterson’s style and the way he shot each scene. You all should check out his website and check out his other work.
I really liked the Shotwell’s set up. He spoke to us about having access to such a space all the time. It sounds ideal to have an entire building dedicated to your work just yards from your home. His 3 story coach house serves as a facility perfect for his methods. He was very open and friendly from the moment we walked in the door and were sniffed out by the scruffy dog.
He emphasized attitude and talked about not getting defensive about your work. I remember him saying that you should commit to something and go for it full force: “Go out of your envelope and encourage others to do the same.” He talked about using your anxiety and depression about your work to create more and more. (“lets all get depressed and go take pictures”)
Shotwell’s work has a definite purpose. He has a very simple taste in imagery and takes his projects to a conceptual level. The series “Tableau” caught my attention the most. These scenes create an illusion of an object that is larger than life. This would only be possible with his table top method of shooting.
Conduit, Michael Sirianni
Check him out, the work on his website is so different from what we saw at Gallery 400.
Intimacies at Gallery 400
This show was definitely shocking. When David warned us that it would be a little risque I didn’t really know what to expect. The curators John Neff and Lorelei Stewart spoke to us from the beginning when we entered the gallery. I thought it was nice to hear from the people who planned the show, but I wanted to be able to look at the work and form my own view on it before getting so much information from them. I thought they talked a lot, so much that I started to zone out a little and missed some of the things they said.
I thought it was interesting that they chose to put all the video pieces in the same room. Originally I thought there was something weird about it, but after getting to watch some of them it made more sense. Some of the videos needed to be watched in full in order to understand what was going on (Exorcism in January). Others could be just watched in segments, and you would get the jist of it (Sirianni’s CTRL). Lorelei answered my question about the placement of the videos by saying that she wanted the viewer to see those shocking things first. I think this was really effective in keeping that imagery in the back of the viewer’s mind as they entered the more hidden rooms of the gallery. You left that main room with a grimy and slightly violated feeling. These werent images of cliche intimacy, they were experiences of intimacies with a camera (and sometimes another person) that all had an undertone of creepiness. why did they make the show so creepy? Intimacy can be a very beautiful thing but these videos didn’t show that side of it.
However, I can’t forget to mention the photography that was shown. The works by Letoya Ruby Frazier provided a breather from the unclean pieces in the other room. Her images with her mother suggested a strong, intimate relationship that only a mother and daughter could have. They just looked so at home together. I especially liked the stop motion video entitled “Momme Wrestle”. There was a playfulness about it, and I liked the visual quality of the pink wallpaper and the method of stop motion.
As for the images in the far back room that inspired the show, they are all amazing images, but I am not sure that I think of them in relation to this show. I thought the idea behind it was an interesting one, but I wouldnt have connected some of the things if the curators hadn’t filled us in so completely. I thought the show needed (or maybe we just got) too much explanation.