October 28, 2008

duane michals: putting fartsters on notice since 1932

I have a bit of an obsession with the notion and experience of memory (is a memory something you have or something you've lost?) There are some moments I hold so dear that I wish I could wipe clean my memory if only to be able to have the chance to go back and experience them again for the first time. The first time I saw Han Solo on the big screen. The view from our tent that first morning at Galla Camp in Kenya. The first time I saw a Duane Michals photograph, specifically, this series of photographs, "chance encounter".

Who can say what it is that causes that jolt of electricity and recognition when you connect with a person, place or idea on such a cellular, cosmic level. Whatever it is, Duane Michals' work does it for me.

Madame Schrodinger's cat:

Or this one: "No American has the right to impose his private morality on any other American."

Or this one from his recent book, a biting satire "how photography lost its virginity on the way to the bank" a send up of some of the biggest photography art stars going (many of whom I really quite like). Who is Sidney Sherman?

The accompanying text: "Sidney paints his fingernails shocking pink a brilliantly audacious gesture that exposes the dis-corraborative gender bias of Revlon's vacuity, while trenchantly confirming lipstick as a phallic ploy of alpha males vis-a-vis Derrida's strategies of dis-corraboration."

His tattle-tales from the land of fauxtography includes such gems as:
  • Never trust any photograph so large it can only fit inside a museum;
  • The announced demise of the decisive moment is premature; and
  • Museums should never exhibit photographs of visitors looking at art in museums to visitors who are looking at art in museums.
Beware, he warns, of fartsters (aka those who confuse fashion with art). Words of wisdom indeed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i actually love this! Madame Schrodinger's cat was my favourite.
I also love Duane Michals' 'Things are queer'- his work plays with your mind. When does the world end?