Tuesday, March 29, 2016
Student Picks: Mundane Particulars
Student Picks is a SCMA program in which Smith students organize their own one-day art show using our collection of works on paper. This month’s student curator and guest blogger Beryl Ford '17 discusses her show "Mundane Particulars: Locating the Extraordinary in Ordinary Moments" which will be on view FRIDAY, April 1 from 12-4 PM in the Cunningham Center for the Study of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs. We hope to see you there!
Danny Lyon, American, born 1942. Port-au-Prince (woman carrying wood structure on shoulders, holding hand of another woman), 1983-1986 negative; 2007 print. Gelatin silver print. Gift of Nicole Moretti Ungar, class of 1982, and Jon Ungar. SC 2009:50-78
Mundane Particulars is not about the contrived and constructed images of the world. Rather, it examines how photographers capture the casual, vernacular, and humdrum moments of everyday lives to heighten the viewer’s understanding of their subjects’ individuality.
Danny Lyon, American, born 1942. Ben Alton, housewrecker from The Destruction of Lower Manhattan, 1967 negative; 2007 print. Gelatin silver print. Gift of Nicole Moretti Ungar, class of 1982, and Jon Ungar. SC 2012:84-12
Tracing how the camera reveals the beauty of the mundane, this exhibition is preoccupied with photography’s surrealist sensibility. This surrealist understanding is due to both the medium’s ability to capture the uncanny and its ability to catapult even the most prosaic image out of its usual context.
Ken Heyman, American, born 1930. A Painting on the Bench, Central Park, NYC, ca. 1970. Gelatin silver print. Gift of Nicole Moretti Ungar, class of 1982, and Jon Ungar. SC 2012:84-43
Joel Meyerowitz, American, born 1938. Chair, Maid, 1990. Vintage chromogenic contact print. Gift of Nicole Moretti Ungar, class of 1982, and Jon Ungar.
The photographs in this exhibition contemplate these themes through their depiction of various everyday instances—a colorful parade on the streets of Harlem, day laborers tending to a task at hand, children walking through the city streets, and adults on a night on the town.
Leonard Freed, American, 1929 - 2006. Policeman talks to two young women, New York City, 1979. Vintage gelatin silver print. Gift of Nicole Moretti Ungar, class of 1982, and Jon Ungar. SC 2014:53-94
Each of these ordinary moments becomes extraordinary precisely because they are divorced from their original purpose. They are now irreverently assigned a new role in this room before you, bearing witness to just another particularly ordinary moment.