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From New York To Paris: Peter Hujar And Christer Strömholm Look At Their Lost Downtowns
Art

From New York To Paris: Peter Hujar And Christer Strömholm Look At Their Lost Downtowns

“To take a photograph is to participate in another person’s mortality, vulnerability, mutability. Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time’s relentless melt,” says Susan Sontag in On Photography, who was one of many Downtown fixtures captured by photographer Peter Hujar. Present in Lost Downtown, an exhibition commemorating the devastatingly impressive … Continue reading

Not So Fast, Tom Ryan: Elizabeth Taylor’s Presence and Absence In Catherine Opie’s ‘700 Nimes Road’
Art

Not So Fast, Tom Ryan: Elizabeth Taylor’s Presence and Absence In Catherine Opie’s ‘700 Nimes Road’

In Jay Prosser’s photographic study Light in the Dark Room: Photography and Loss, Prosser analyzes the power of photography to record absence, as well as–seemingly contradictorily–presence. As he explains, “photography is the medium in which we unconsciously encounter the dead…Photographs are not signs of presence but evidence of absence. Or rather the presence of a photograph … Continue reading

Doing the Leftover Things: Notes on Robert Melee’s After-Party Camp
Art

Doing the Leftover Things: Notes on Robert Melee’s After-Party Camp

In Susan Sontag’s seminal, often quoted and equally maligned “Notes on ‘Camp,’” Sontag composes a list of examples of camp including Tiffany lamps, Swan Lake and “stag movies seen without lust.” While Sontag’s list is certainly limited, she surely would not have hesitated to include opulent lamps, gaudy glass chandeliers, shining streamers, clashing ribbons, dangling … Continue reading

Move Over Spiral Jetty: Robert Smithson’s Early Celebrations of Sleaze
Art

Move Over Spiral Jetty: Robert Smithson’s Early Celebrations of Sleaze

When thinking of artist Robert Smithson, Times Square porn cinemas, sci-fi horror flicks, beefcake magazines and pulp fiction book covers probably don’t immediately come to mind. Changing the typically one-sided conception of Robert Smithson’s all-too-short artistic career, the recently closed exhibition Pop at James Cohan’s newly opened Lower East Side gallery space reveals the tacky, … Continue reading