Thursday, October 14, 2010

Laura Letinsky Lecture

This image is from the series The Dog and the Wolf, after the Aesop's fable of the same name, but that also refers to the phrase L'heure entre chien et loup. This translates to "the hour between dog and wolf." This is the hour when dusk becomes night. This is a mysterious time when day and night exist together, when a dog is no longer a dog but not fully a wolf.

Going to the Laura Letinsky lecture at ICP last night was almost like a pilgrimage for me. Amazing just how different this lecture was from the Adam Fuss lecture. Letinsky's lecture left me more interested in the work than ever, which was good, especially after feeling slightly underwhelmed by her current show at Yancy Richardson. The beginning of Letinsky's 12 year project in still life began when she was in Germany, as a non-German speaker. During this time she felt she needed to turn more to visual language, as her ability to communicate with words was severely limited. This is telling, because her works can read like poems. Objects scattered deliberately like text on white, like an E. E. Cummings poem. Giorgio Morandi came up, and that was great. I also love his work.

I was not surprised to learn that Letinsky likes to cook. When she got her first studio, she solved the problem of what to photograph (she had previously always worked in her home) by picking up trash that she found on the way to the studio. This makes me think of her work as an archeology of modern life. For those who are interested, this lecture series at ICP is streaming live on every Wednesday night through December 15th.

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