Thursday, April 15, 2010

Pictures of Pictures: A Recorded Collection

Although, on a last minute change, I couldn't make the opening (tonight) I so look forward to checking out Danziger's newest exhibition (through May 22), Elfering – 1642.

Here's what it is: Elfering--1642 is the collection recording a collection, images of images. In 2005, Gert Elfering, a famous German collector, sold his masterful collection of prominent photographic pieces (including works from Irving Penn, May Ray, Helmut Newton, and the like) at auction via Christies New York showrooms. It occurred to him that he might want a souvenir of sorts to commemorate both the collection and the event of auction, and he commissioned photographer, Matthais Shaller, of whose work he admired, to do so.

Upon seeing it on the floor at the auction house (before it was hanged), Shaller felt capturing the collection in this way was the most impactful and meaningful.

 "In this way and as a completed series, Schaller’s photographs encompass the many complexities and ironies of the concept while at the same time incorporating the power of the objects about to be sold into their own luminous interiors. The finished works – beautiful, compelling, and intriguing pictures in their own right - stand as a remarkable example of enlightened patronage while remaining resolutely true to Schaller’s own vision of creating a portrait of both a collection and a collector," Says the press release of the result (and I cannot wait to check it out in person).

On a sillier note, the concept reminds me a bit of A Collection a Day, a blog created by artist Lisa Congdon soley to record her many unusual and/or extensive collections.

Image: James Danziger, A Year in Pictures

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