Visual Art Falling and Looking
posted by October 10 at 14:27 PMon
Having just gone through Richard Misrach’s press preview this morning, I can say with certainty that you’re going to want to hear him speak tonight at UW. (Full details here.)
He’s talking about his latest completed series, On the Beach, which he made between 2002 and 2005. In it, he stood on a balcony at a Hawaii hotel and shot downward, geometrically reversing the relationship between photographer and subject that occurred when the victims of September 11 were falling out of their buildings toward the photographers below.
On the Beach is about the way Misrach saw things after the attacks. He noticed floaters in the water that looked like Ophelias, a man who came every year and laid in a fetal position in the sand, the way that a single person doing a handstand in the middle of the ocean resembles Bruegel’s great painting of Icarus’s tiny splash after his fall—when everyone else around Icarus just keeps on doing what they’re doing without noticing that anything’s happened.
(Icarus’s feet are in the bottom right corner.)
There’s a lot to see, and a lot to talk about. Definitely go.
(And I did give the Henry’s new web site another chance: the horizontal scrolling feature that’s basically the overarching design of the site is actually very cool. You can scroll back—left! get it? timeline-style!—to 1927 to see which shows were on then! My previous complaint about available, high-quality images of the museum’s collection stands, though. Having the collection viewable online should be a serious priority for any museum, IMO.)