Sunday, July 3, 2011

Zoe Leonard's "You See I Am Here After All"

Zoe Leonard's You See I Am Here After All is one of my all-time favorite exhibitions. Hannah and I saw it in May 2009 at Dia Beacon, one of the most wonderful places to view art (in addition to this and this). I waited patiently for the catalog to be published and two years later (at long last) here are some images from it. I am drawn to the repetitive reproductions that are hardly similar, the poetic title (from one of the authors on the postcard back), the use of found photographs (and the anonymity associated with them), the installation, and the sheer amount of time it must have taken to collect all of these cards.

The installation includes 3,851 vintage postcards and is roughly 12’ x 147’.

The need to document where one was and in turn, let others know, is something I've thought of recently as important in some capacity on the VB project. From Ann Reynolds's essay "Curving into a Straight Line": "Leonard's title, You see I am here after all, asserts presence where absence is presumed. She adopts this phrase from a handwritten and signed message on the front of a black-and-white postcard image of the brink of the American Falls. The author of this message, "Lulu," is the presumably absent person. Nothing else can be known about this author, at least in this context, but the message and its accompanying date provide a set of the simple, inevitable contradictions inherent to most postcard messages: I insist on my presence through a postcard message that speaks in my absence; I am still speaking of my presence when the date on which I am stating that I am doing so, September 20, 1906, is now more than one hundred years in the past."

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.