seeing the spectacular exhibit at moma of Cindy Sherman’s work is impressive on many levels, first on the amount of prints and their physical size. it made me think about how it is when one starts off working on a project we begin with smaller pieces because of affordability and i guess we don’t have the chops to tackle life size images much less larger than life.
what bothered me most were all the reflections in the glass protecting the beautiful chromogenic prints. there wasn’t a place one could view the individual pieces were someone or something wasn’t reflected in the pictures glass. that was distracting enough but add to that were people crossing in front of you as you tried to read the descriptions written on the wall. does it take that much of an effort to walk around someone or a group in this instantgram world we are now confronted with? have people lost or not learned manners?
but seeing such a massive show from one artist inspires me to keep on making what i do for myself. i keep telling mary to pursue her ‘self projects’ because i see them as exciting, well i see her as exciting but i won’t go into that now. it’s so hard for me as an artist to be working in the dark, but i think that’s where the most exciting of my work lays, when i don’t know where i am going but act as if i am following an inner voice. just do it.
after all aren’t we just energy converters.
as is sherman herself following in the footsteps of Claude Cahun ( 1894-1954) who was a forerunner of sherman and lady gaga. cahun was a french surrealist photographer,artist, writer, feminist, and radical activist who worked with ‘autoportraits’
‘All By Her Selves” is a comprensive retrospective curated by Francios Leperlier and Juan Vicente Aliaga originating at the Jeu de Paume in Paris now on view at the Art Institute of Chicago through June 3, 2012.
Cahun was born into a wealthy family of Jewish intellectuals from Nantes, France, but left in 1921 drawn to the frenetic, artistically and socially audacoius milieu of paris between wars. she considered herself a born surrealist but was never accepted as part of the inner circle. nonetheless she did participate in several surrealist exhibits and was part of the anit-fascist group ‘Contre-Attague.’
but back to the sherman show. the amount of people who pass through moma’s door is amazing especially at $25.00 a head. the sherman show doesn’t have a special admission price as some shows do making even more money to do what with, buy art? one would think that the highpriest of moma art world would be able to solve the problem of the distracting reflections. is it a money problem? raise the price of the cafe’s latte’s or maybe just tilt the pictures downward, do something.
a personal story: i was lighting a CBS network news show overlooking a new york harbor celebration. the studio was enclosed in 1″ plexiglass with a panaroma view of the harbor. we did two shows that night one at sunset, or normal evening news show with the sun setting behind the anchor, a killer angle and the other one after dark same angle but different subject and fireworks. we used two different lighting systems one for each setup.
when the big muckymucks came down to test both looks we had nothing but reflections for the evening show from the lights reflecting in the plexiglass. horror on horror as everyone looked at each other. i hadn’t set this system up as someone eles had, but i was there and needed to fix it, i asked if i could have a moment to solve the problem. i got the stagehands to wrap some ‘blackwrap’ around the barndoors to eliminate the spill causing the ambient reflections.
when everyone came back and looked on camera a sigh of relief was uttered with jokes and laughter. problem solved everyone could go home and get a good nights sleep.
i can’t believe that not one at moma saw these reflections as a problem before the sherman exhibit opened. well maybe they didn’t care after all you’re inside and have paid your money.
i wonder how cindy feels? oh well. she’s probably in her studio creating another series based on reflections. one can only guess.
Tags: All By Her Selves, Art Institute of Chicago, autoportraits, cbs network, cindy sherman, Claude Cahun, Contre-Attague, energy converters, Francios Leperlier, Jeu de Paume, Juan Vicente Aliaga, moma, my impressions, new york activities, nyc museums, photograph exhibit, spectacular exhibit