Outtakes presents a series of artworks, all picturing alternative views of everyday life, installed throughout CMOA’s permanent collection galleries of modern and contemporary art. Beginning with the “outtake,” a filmed or recorded scene not included in the final version, the exhibition brings together important photographic and film works by 2013 Carnegie International artists not included in that exhibition. Outtakes unfolds in three distinct installations.
Alternative (or altered) consciousness is probed in Rodney Graham’s film installation Photokinetoscope, depicting his psychedelic ride through an idyllic Berlin park. Photographic series by Joel Sternfeld and Zoe Strauss show alternative views of American landscapes, culture, and the lives lived at its margins. And Pierre Leguillon’s immersive Arbus Bonus offers a wide-ranging take on American popular culture through rarely seen magazine work of seminal American photographer Diane Arbus.
Graham, Leguillon, Sternfeld, and Strauss use film and photography to redefine the artist’s relationship to their subject and surroundings and in doing so they reframe our experience of the world.
This exhibition is organized by Dan Byers, 2013 Carnegie International co-curator and Richard Armstrong Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art.
Works in Outtakes
Pierre Leguillon’s artwork-as-exhibition Arbus Bonus encompasses 200 photographs by famed photographer Diane Arbus, bringing together every published magazine spread that featured her editorial photography, as opposed to her iconic street photography and portraiture. Leguillon’s consideration of this major yet overlooked aspect of her oeuvre exposes a fascinating web of allusions, connections, and coincidences between image, history, and text. Leguillon’s project emphasizes Arbus’s role in defining the images of our popular culture and situates her photographic approach within the cultural context—magazines, record covers, and so forth—from which it came.
Zoe Strauss’s series Under I-95 takes its name from the free, renegade exhibition of photographs that she mounted each year from 2000 to 2010 under a highway overpass in her neighborhood of South Philadelphia. Strauss’s photographs focus on the overlooked (or purposely avoided) details of life at the lower rungs of the economic ladder. With sometimes startling candor and genuine empathy, she captures both heart-rending dejection and moments of joy, hope, and pride that transcend difficult circumstances. While in the tradition of Diane Arbus, Strauss approaches the people and places she photographs “more as a fellow traveler than as an outsider.”
Joel Sternfeld’s iconic photographs of the American landscape and its sometimes strange inhabitation are captured in startlingly beautiful color, made at the beginning of color photography’s ascendance to high-art status. For his 1978–1979 series American Prospects, Sternfeld traveled across the country, capturing the vast landscape’s changing seasons through moments of quiet where nature and culture intersect at often uncanny junctions.
Rodney Graham’s Phonokinetoscope installation combines a looping film and record player to examine the mechanics of perception and the artist’s interior world. The film depicts the artist riding a bicycle through a Berlin park, while tripping on acid, and is accompanied by a sometimes out-of-sync soundtrack that turns from a slow, lyrical ballad into thick, heavy psychedelic rock, written and performed by Graham. Image and sound never quite link up, mirroring the disconnection between the hallucinogenic mind hidden behind a blank visage, and the calm, quiet park visible to the viewer. Between the film image, music, and the mechanics of their presentation, questions of time, perception, and philosophy circle the idyllic ramble in the park.