Thursday, April 23, 2009


I made this photo many months ago, when my feelings about having to break up my family and learning to be a single parent were much more raw than they are now. It has been a full year this April that I've been on my own, after a devastating eight year relationship. Becoming a single parent was frightening, but I eventually I found that I could manage well, partly by searching out other single parents and hearing their stories. I'm happy to say that this anniversary finds me really enjoying my new life, and celebrating my freedom.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Treeless Mountain

I got this email from my friend So Yong Kim, who happens to also be an uber talented film director:

"We are very excited to announce that our latest film TREELESS
MOUNTAIN will open on April 22, at Film Forum in NYC and in other
cities in the coming weeks.

We hope you can come out to see it. The first weekend box office is
crucial to the survival of a small independent film.

We'll be at the Q&A on April 22 & 24, at 8pm screenings".

I had the opportunity to see Treeless Mountain at a screening at the Walter Reade Theatre a few weeks ago and it burned a hole in my cranium with its lacerating beauty. This clear eyed, carefully seen movie confronts the painful but far from hopeless predicament of two young girls facing abandonment. You can read countless reviews online, including a recent New York Times magazine article. Don't miss it!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Worked on a shot involving a pillow and a feather on Saturday.
These longer days of early spring are so much more forgiving- there are so many more hours during which I can get good natural light for shooting. This saturday I had time for a class and a review and by afternoon there was still enough light to shoot. Since the ICP kindly gives a one year membership to folks who review student portfolios for them- this weekend I took advantage of it with a free class on lighting and a portfolio review.
The photo shown here is another Polaroid test of something I've been working on- trying to figure out how to exploit the potential of balloons. I've used them as tools before- hanging objects from helium balloons into photos, etc. It seems that showing a single balloon tends to be too melancholic. I haven't yet been able to hit just the right note.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Small is the New Big

Last week at the Philip-Lorca diCorcia show "Thousand" at Zwirner. I was treated to the most aggressive use of small photos I had ever experienced, and I loved it.

The gallery was lined with an eye level strip of small color Polaroid test prints. I was glued to the wall, with my eyelashes practically brushing the print surfaces as I craned to absorb all the juicy details and narrative fragments. I was excited to see so many rougher versions of images that I had seen in the finished, more polished mode in other diCorcia exhibits. They were so much more fun than the big, cold, glossy prints- these dirty little bits with fingerprints, nudity, the confusion and jumble of life along with quite a few intimate images that felt like Nan Goldin's best work, the Ballad of Sexual Dependency. There were also photographs that created an explanatory context for images that I had seen before and felt somewhat irritated or overtly manipulated by.

When I looked up from my intense scrutiny of the photos for a moment, I found that I was in another room, no longer in the big room that I had entered in, and I had no idea how I'd arrived. It was disorienting, and I think this was the desired effect. At that point I was eye weary but committed to looking at every one of the thousand images. As you continue on in the smaller space that the exhibit unwinds into, you find yourself turning along a tightening spiral of walls. We were nauseated by the motion of walking along the wall and looking so closely at the images.
Because of the layout of the show and the repeating theme of images that clearly reference time, including close-ups of watch faces, I think this show is meant to channel you through the human experience of time. In the beginning all seems possible, open. Then slowly space closes in on you, and eventually time runs out.

Photos courtesy David Zwirner Gallery