In December 2012, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City featured an interactive art installation by Philip Worthington called “Shadow Monsters“. The exhibit was created using a computer, a camera, two projectors, a light box, and some clever software. When visitors stepped in front of the light box, their shadows were magically transformed into creatures that were brought to life through sound and animation.
Photographer Joseph O. Holmes saw the unique exhibition as a photo project opportunity. However, instead of photographing the resulting monsters, he decided to turn the camera on the participants themselves, capturing their monster-making activities as a series of silhouettes. Read more…
German photographer Michael Wesely has spent decades working on techniques for extremely long camera exposures — usually between two to three years. In the mid-1990s, he began using the technique to document urban development over time, capturing years of building projects in single frames. In 1997, he focused his cameras on the rebuilding of Potsdamer Platz in Berlin, and in 2001 he began photographing the Museum of Modern Art’s ambitious renovation project. He uses filters and extremely small apertures to reduce the amount of light striking the film, creating unique images that capture both space and time. Read more…
The MoMA Store used to sell these nifty salt and pepper shakers made from 35mm film canisters for $35 a pop. You might not want to make your own though — we hear you shouldn’t keep any food products inside used canisters because film rolls leak poisonous chemicals that can’t be washed out. Shucks.
There’s some serious artiness going on over at MoMA. Artist Marina Abramović has a new performance called “The Artist is Present” that involves her sitting silently across from museum visitors. The show runs from March 14 to May 31 and, with the exception of a few days, Abramović sits from before the museum opens and continuously through when the museum closes. MoMa also provides a live stream of her performing.
So how does this have anything to do with photography? Photographer Marco Anelli has been creating portraits of the participants for MoMa and uploading them to a MoMA set on Flickr. Below each portrait is also the length of time that person sat in front of Marina. At the time of this writing, there have been 759 fascinating portraits uploaded.
Most people participating sit in front of Abramović for anywhere from a few minutes to an hour. One woman sat there for a whopping six and a half hours.
There’s also a good number of people with teary eyes, whether from the stress of sitting and staring, or from being moved emotionally somehow through the performance:
Wikipedia has a description of a previous performance Abramović did with her ex-boyfriend Ulay (who happens to be the man crying above in the upper left hand corner pictured here):
To create this “Death self,” the two performers devised a piece in which they connected their mouths and took in each other’s exhaled breaths until they had used up all of the available oxygen. Seventeen minutes after the beginning of the performance they both fell to the floor unconscious, their lungs having filled with carbon dioxide. This personal piece explored the idea of an individual’s ability to absorb the life of another person, exchanging and destroying it.
For more on this performance, check out Jason Kottke’s coverage in which he documents interesting happenings (including an appearance by Lou Reed).