dayoutlast is a record of my direct engagement with mostly contemporary art, mostly Los Angelean.

As this blog has evolved since its 2010 inception, so has my perspective. What I once perceived as central within the investigation was what was central, literally, within the photographic frame that I shared here. While still an important consideration, such thinking has also given way to more peripheral considerations, ones also accompanied occasionally by text (written manifestation of thought) and the oscillations between them. What's missing here are larger unknowns surrounding issues of presentation and representation; the amount of time and space it actually takes to accomplish such first-hand observations; and the quandaries between documentation and interpretation.

Despite my attempt to communicate here with image and text what is essential in some respect about the artwork, neither representation should ever be considered a substitution for the primary viewing experience. Of course, occasionally there are exceptions.

Most of the time, these posts are merely remnants---residual fragments---from my last day out.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

"Perfect Likeness: Photography and Composition" @ Hammer Museum

Rodney Graham
Dead Flowers in My Studio, 2009
Painted aluminum lightbox with transmuted
chromgenic transparency

Rodney Graham
Small Basement Camera Shop circa 1937, 2011
Painted aluminum light box with transmounted chromogenic transparency

Gillian Wearing
Self-Portrait as my Mother, Jean Gregory, 2003
Gelatin Silver Print

Thomas Demand
Daily #17, 2011
Framed dye transfer print

Jeff Wall
Boxing, 2011

Stan Douglas
Hastings Park, 16 July 1955, 2008
Digital C-Print mounted on dibond aluminum

Lucas Blalock
Broken Composition, 2011
Chromogenic print

Peter Holzhauer
Kodiak, 2001
Gelatin silver print

Roe Etheridge
Peas and Pickles, 2014
Dye sublimation print on aluminum

Hiroshi Sugimoto
Conceptual Forms 0003
Dini's Surface: a surface of constant negative
curvature obtained by twisting a pseudosphere, 2004
Gelatin silver print

Wolfgang Tillmans
window New Inn Yard, 1997
Chromogenic print

Elad Lassry
Selkirk Rex, LaPerm, 2011
Chromogenic print diptych, painted frames

Catherine Opie

Lawrence (Black Shirt), 2012
Pigment print

Lawrence, 2012
Pigment Print

Andres Serrano
Klansman (Wizard III), 1990

Roe Etheridge
Thanksgiving 1984, 2009
Chromgenic print

McDermott & McGough
Those Moments, 1955, 2010
Tricolor carbon print

Sharon Lockhart
Gashgaoka Girl's Basketball Team: Kumi Nanjo
and Marie Komurol Rie Ouchi; Atsuko Shinkai,
Eri Kobayashi and Naomi Hasegawa, 1997
One of three framed chromogenic prints

Andreas Gursky
Alba, 1989
C-Print, diasec

Thomas Demand
Diving Board (Sprngturm), 1994
Chromogenic color print

Annette Kelm
First Picture for a Show, 2007
Chromogenic print

Lynn Davis
Icdeberg 32, Disko Bay, Greenland, 2000
Gelatin silver print, toned with gold

Christopher Williams
Department of Water and Power
General Office Building, dedicated 
on June 1, 1965
Albert C Martin and Associates
May 18, 1994
(Nr. 1 and Nr. 2), 1994
Two gelatin silver prints

Jeff Wall
A view from an apartment, 2004-05
Transparency in light box

Jeff Wall
Diagonal Composition, 1993
Transparency in light box

Thomas Demand
Daily #21, 2011
Framed dye transfer print

Christopher Williams
Untitled (Study in Yellow and Green/East Berlin)
Studio Thomas Borho, Dusseldorf, July 7th, 2012, 2012
Inkjet print on cotton rag paper

Peter Holzhauer

Orange Street, 2011
Archival inkjet print

Cerritos, 2008
Chromogenic print

A perfect presentation of pictorial genres, Perfect Likeness: Photography and Composition at the Hammer Museum is a journey through the histories of photographic concern from the perspective of artists living today.  At least, this was how I was seeing it.  Still-lifes, self-reflexivity, staged portraiture, portraiture, abstract edges, illumination, slides, uncanny, light capture, sublime, documentary, simple comparisons, relationships to painting and films, time, instants, scale, romanticism, color (or not), black and white, studio maquettes, and various combinations ALL displayed under one roof.  It was a lot to digest, and a lot of fun to view.  As per usual, I was looking for through lines, ways to navigate the exhibition to allow works to fold and unfold against one another whether through ideas, images, or particular formal elements. As such, the images in this post are sequenced top to bottom in a specific way, and it seems to have something do with how photography continues to wonder about moments in time as they pertain to a natural/cultural exchange.

It became obvious to me at some point in my viewing (and certainly not news) that I was complicit in this dialogue in the way I was using my own "cheap" pocket camera, a fundamental feature of my cellular telephone,  presently a dilapidated and ancient iPhone 5s, to record the show.  Time travels quickly these days and so does the passage and exchange of time-capture and image flow.  I also couldn't help myself to a handful of installations shots that involved a viewing public, yet another way to "time-stamp" the occasion and also to invoke in hindsight the work of Thomas Struth, a photographer who seemed to be a gross omission from the exhibition here.  Such reflexivity as it pertains to art voyeur via camera in proximity to likeness and composition would have been a nice addition.  Cindy Sherman also comes to mind in terms of portraiture and staging, but I'm sure a long and very extensive list would overwhelm even the most ambitious pictorial presentation on the living histories of photography and its presumptuous exactitudes.  

Aside from whoever/whatever might be missing, there's more than enough in Perfect Likeness to consider the value of recent photography and our current moment within it, especially as it pertains to photographic and product rather than process. So, the question starts to become, as has been the case with all eras of attempted "realisms" in the arts, what is it about now? I suspect it may have something to do, in part, with the status of photograph as object, as potentially obsolescent form with respect to mass proliferation in the hands of anyone, and so this exhibition appears as a paean of sorts not unlike the one toward the (laughable) death of painting but rather photography as conjoining with painting in the spectrum of established, fixed modes of representation towards a kind of perpetuity in form.  I also couldn't quite help but separate "likeness" in the title of the exhibition as a verb turned noun such as "dudeness" or, like, whatever, or next level "like" button.  Granted, this was probably not on the mind of the curator to connect photography with liking, but then again, how could it not at this moment?  Like.