Monday, April 28, 2014

Sandi Dooley reviews Philip-Lorca diCorcia, #7

I initially looked up Philip-Lorca diCorcia's work because I have been working on a panoramic in my family room, dining area, and kitchen, where I appear at different times, wearing something different, and doing different things. Philip-Lorca diCorcia has made well known images inside the home that are interesting. 

Why are his images interesting? For one, the lighting is rather dramatic, thus creating a stage for the people, who appear lost in thought, not smiling, as they stand before an open refrigerator or sit at a breakfast bar, looking down. They do not appear busy, but alone, and sad. What could their stories be? These images are not of defining moments, but are meant to convey an ambiguous state of being or an indeterminate message of some kind, not truth. It is a more directorial approach. Mario, 1978-1979, for example, which appears in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art collection, shows a man who looks as if he is contemplating the state of his life. 

Brian, 1988, in the Museum of Modern Art collection, appears on the cover of the book accompanying the show "Pleasures and Terrors of Domestic Comfort," 1991, curated by Peter Galassi, which included daily life family photographs from Tina Barney (of her affluent family), Sally Mann (controversial images of her children), and Larry Sultan (images of his parents' daily routine). This rather different approach to social documentary photography, which is not the same as street photography, included family and friends (Photography: A Cultural History, 3rd Ed., Mary Warner, Marien, pages 464-465).  It caused me to think about what I am trying to say with the project that I am working on. 

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