Oldest known picture of a sneeze – 1902
Oldest known picture of a sneeze – 1902
Stop. Listen. You won’t regret it.
ALL SUMMER LONG.
An upcoming Drawing Center exhibition, Small., is on view July 11-August 24. This group show features a selection of international contemporary artists who adopt an intimate format to explore issues related to visual perception, personal and historical memory, and the power of the imagination.
Small. includes work by Claire Harvey. In Easily Removable People, 2006, Harvey depicts nameless individuals on small swatches of transparent tape; they are city dwellers on their way to work, stopping to talk to a friend, exchanging an embrace—people we encounter both everywhere and nowhere. Clustering numerous pieces of tape on the gallery wall, Harvey’s installation is a mural of the intimacy and anonymity of urban life and as such it echoes the experience of the viewers, who must physically approach the work to peer at tiny figures that remain ultimately unknowable and distant.
Images: Claire Harvey, Easily Removable People, 2006, Acrylic on easily-removable scotch tape, Dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Fons Welters.
Model: 2001 Toyota Tacoma w/ Shred Bed
Location: Schaffer Trail, Canyonlands N.P. Utah, USA.
OG girl gang
This week’s Modern Art Notes Podcast features Jo Ann Callis.
If you know the work of Jeff Wall or Gregory Crewdson or Marilyn Minter, you should know Callis, whose work anticipated theirs. Starting in the early 1970s Callis has constructed both black-and-white and color photographs that consider, sex, sexuality, pleasure and more pleasure.
Aperture has just published “Other Rooms,” a new book of Callis’ investigations of the nude body and sexuality, mostly from the mid-1970s. Amazon offers it for $54.
Callis is one of the most important photographers of her generation. In two thousand nine the J. Paul Getty Museum presented a retrospective of her work titled "Woman Twirling." Callises are in the permanent collection of museums such as the Museum of Modern Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
In 1974, Robert Heinecken, Callis’ teacher at UCLA, organized a workshop in Yosemite. Several famous pictures came out of that trip, including works by Callis, Heinecken and Judy Dater. Several of them, all discussed by Callis and host Tyler Green on this week’s MAN Podcast, are shown here. From top-to-bottom: Two untitled 1974 Callises; Dater, Imogen and Twinka at Yosemite (1975) from the collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and Heinecken, Space/Time Metamorphosis No.1 (1975) from the collection of the MFA Houston. Green wrote about the Heinecken and the Dater on our sister site Modern Art Notes.
Thanks to ROSEGALLERY for its assistance with the Callises!
Perhaps Ernest Hemingway knew best when he claimed that Josephine Baker was the “most sensational woman anybody ever saw. Or ever will.”Image: Josephine Baker in Banana Skirt from the Folies Bergère production “Un Vent de Folie” by Walery 1863-1935. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.
please don’t let rihanna ruin this.
An Essay on Vivian Maier, Francesca Woodman, and Self-Photography By Madeleine Watts
In 1906 the playwright August Strindberg invited a friend to tea in his Stockholm apartment. When the friend walked into the living room, he found that all the chairs and sofas weren’t occupied by other guests but by photographs depicting Strindberg himself. When the friend asked why he had taken so many photos of himself, Strindberg explained that the photos other people took of him were always inadequate. “I don’t care a thing for my appearance,” he said, “but I want people to be able to see my soul, and that comes out better in my photographs than in others.”
Strindberg, in the ardent and unhinged way he announced a lot of things, once announced that the stars in the sky were peepholes in a wall. He believed it was possible to take a photograph of himself and capture something essential: his soul. And he believed it was possible because he was the one who could control the image. That element of control in self-photography is important, and it’s possible that to take a picture of yourself may seem to reveal something, while in reality it discloses nothing.
We’re accustomed to accepting that a photograph can lie—Photoshop can slim waists, tighten jaw lines, and give somebody a glass of juice to hold—but those aren’t the things that make a photograph artful or even poignant. We continue to believe a picture speaks a thousand words.
And we’re especially liable to believe the thousand words we perceive in a picture if it’s a picture of a woman. Women more than men have spent most of history being seen and not heard. We’ve spent five hundred years trying to find the source of the Mona Lisa’s smile. We look for the anguish in the faded picture of Virginia Woolf, we sense the trembling behind the stretched smile of Lindsay Lohan emerging from a doorway into a neon-lit street at 3am, the compromised grace of an anonymous teenage girl lit up by the flash of the smart phone she holds in her hand. We’re used to anatomising the essence of a woman in the images that have been taken of her.
If a woman took tens of thousands of photographs, many of them pictures of herself, and then never showed them to a soul, never meant for anybody to see them at all, what could you know about that person from her photographs?