Monday, March 31, 2014

National Gallery of Art & Few Random D.C. Photographs

Contemplating the cat's presence in Hendrik Goltzius's The Fall of Man, 1616. From the National Gallery's website: "The cat, representing the unjust judge, solemnly reminds viewers not to enjoy what they should condemn, lest they too cause more harm than good."

The back of Leonardo da Vinci's Ginevra de' Benci, c. 1474/1478 ("Beauty adorns virtue").

An unexpected surprise: the Garry Winogrand exhibition at the National Gallery. I viewed many works reminding me of the days spent working at the Center for Creative Photography where his archive is housed. In addition to old favorites (Fort Worth stock yards, Bronx Zoo, streets of Los Angeles) and postmortem prints, I was struck by the objects: contact sheets, Guggenheim letters of recommendation and astonishingly, a letter from his ex-wife outlining his ineptitude with finances.

My favorite painting at the National Gallery: a trompe l'oeil detail of Cornelis Norbetus Gijsbrechts's Hanging Wall Pouch from 1647.

An unfortunate crop of a Sol LeWitt sculpture outside the National Gallery (the sunshine is deceiving as it was 20 degrees).

My great intentions to skip a sliver of Camden Hardy's concrete block in the Reflection Pool were thwarted.

I could not help but feel as if I walked into several dozen Hollywood films when wandering around the Lincoln Memorial, halfway expecting Matt Damon to jump out of a limousine.

I pressed it (with gloves on) and it didn't do anything.

The beauty of spending Spring Break away from the Midwest is seeing the third showing of Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel while staying in Washington, D.C. The Royal Tenenbaums is my highest Wes Anderson standard and this film was the closest to meeting it (though Moonrise Kingdom gives it a run for its money). This slideshow of the model from The New York Times was reminiscent of all the window displays I saw in Prague last summer (on a lesser scale). I am looking forward to watching it again (keeping an eye out for all the strategically placed artwork).

With this, I am officially caught up with Spring Break posts. Thirty days until "summer vacation" (in quotes because it snowed yesterday and it is very difficult to fathom that it is finally spring).

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

"Damage Control" at the Hirshhorn Museum

In January, I briefly mentioned reading the book Damage Control: Art and Destruction Since 1950. Imagine my surprise when it was on view at the Hirshhorn Museum over Spring Break. It featured some of my favorite video pieces including:

Steve McQueen, Dead Pan, 1997

Pipilotti Rist, Ever is Over All, 1997

Bruce Conner, A Movie, 1958 [finally available online = wish that happened when I taught Art and Its Relationship to New Technology]

Robert Rauschenberg's Erased de Kooning Drawing, 1958

I am fairly certain I have seen this Rauschenberg on half a dozen occasions. It is featured in any exhibition that includes aggression (also Target Practice: Painting Under Attack, 1949 - 1978) and suddenly, its presence is expected. I would like to be surprised the next time it makes an appearance - perhaps curated into a show focusing on exercise or meditative actions.

There were some terrific Ed Ruscha works including The Royal Road Test and Los Angeles County Museum on Fire. I was also able to spend time with John Baldessari's Cremation Project and was reacquainted with how often nuclear bombs are featured in artwork. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

American Visionary Art Museum - Baltimore, MD

The American Visionary Art Museum was the number one place to visit on my Baltimore list. While living in Houston, I frequented this, this and also this and looked forward to seeing how the AVAM compared. It did not disappoint.

I am not sure who made this piece (apologies for the lack of attribution). Since I am collecting notebooks, I was intrigued by this object which is now a sculpture made to look like a functional conduit for electricity.

Kenny Irwin Jr., Have yourself a happy little robotmas, 2013 (above and two below)

Irwin's installation (part of the Human, Soul and Machine: The Coming Singularity! exhibition) floored me as I have never seen anything quite like it and most likely never will. The pseudo mountain lion heads looked like the bases in taxidermy with attached antlers but it could be the color that is throwing me off. In any case, all the animals emerged from toilets...

lead by this man who resembled a deteriorating Santa Claus...

...complete with a one-eyed snowman holding a femur. More of Irwin's work can be seen here.

Everyone was correct when they informed me that the AVAM had the best gift shop ever, leading to this purchase.

Jacinda Russell, souvenir pin from AVAM

The AVAM is one fine reason to visit Baltimore and if ever I return to the city, there is a pair of silver sunglasses in the shape of pistols with my name on them.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Material Message at Kenyon College

Material Message at Kenyon College opens next week featuring:

Jacinda Russell, Art Historian, 2011-2013

Thursday, March 20, 2014

One of My Favorite Photos from SPE

Paulina Dominguez and Jacinda Russell (image via).

Unfortunately, the Postcard Collective/Candle Heist group shots and the recreation of Nate Larson's wedding guest list were not posted on the link above.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Clear Water Sample Addition: Ocracoke Island, Outer Banks, North Carolina

Searching for the end of the road in Muncie.

Finding it and collecting a clear water sample on Ocracoke Island, North Carolina.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

2014 National Society for Photographic Education Conference

The illustrated version (someday when there is more time, these posts will feature elaborate descriptions):

Frantically printing an 8.5" x 11" portfolio the night before the conference.

Frenzied assembly of panel discussion powerpoint at every available moment (ATL airport).

Nerve racking minutes before the panel discussion began.

James writing my introduction while Camden looks on (five minutes before).

James's introduction that I snagged afterwards and photographed in the hotel room.

Taking a photograph of James and me while Camden introduces the Postcard Collective.

Sadly, my SPE partner in crime, Amelia Morris, was missing this year but was represented in the panel and on the above postcard.

[Pause...] No photographs represent the following:

• student portfolio reviews in which I was out of the room by 8:15 AM, speaking somewhat coherently at 9 in the morning (!!!)

• three professional portfolio reviews where I put those 8.5" x 11" prints to use (also out of the room before 9 AM speaking less lucidly than the previous morning)

• Joan Fontcuberta's guest lecture on truthfulness and photography

• winning a raffle print after promising if my name is called, I would give the print to James (he now owns a photograph by Donna Ferrato)

• my horror after seeing a sign for hotdogs topped with mac and cheese and lump crab cake as a menu item

Student work from the photography department at MICA .

Paulina, James, and I photographing the candles that we systematically swiped in the name of Conceptual Art (and performance) from nearly every table at the dance party (photograph by Camden Hardy).

Sixteen candles before party goers came to our corner of the cavernous room and removed them to return to their own very dark tables.

SPE: where very little sleep is had by all (as usual falling on the weekend when we lose an hour because of Daylight Savings).

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Artist Stalking: James Turrell #2

Once nearly five years ago, I was in a very small airplane flying over James Turrell's Roden Crater outside Flagstaff, Arizona. When the pilot offered to buzz over his ranch, the answer was an unequivical yes. A photograph was snapped and two years later, the series Stalking Artists: In Search of Home began. I have since learned that well-known artists often have one, two, three, four, and even five houses in his or her name. This week, I added the second of three addresses to my image folder on James Turrell. Here they are with a few observations.

How come every time I am (legally) around a property James Turrell owns, a truck appears making me look even more suspicious?

There is hope in making a decent living in the art world if Turrell now lives in a mansion this size (wondering if there are any experimental light spaces hidden behind all those windows?).

In addition to trucks appearing when I am nearby, the presence of a porta potty is also a commonality between his Maryland residence and Roden Crater. There is construction happening here unlike the earthwork in Flagstaff.

The front view was far more welcoming than I initially suspected from the satellite view on Google Street maps, as was the friendly woman who waved while walking her dog shortly before this photograph was taken.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Destination: Baltimore

Purpose: Society for Photographic Education Panel Discussion

Photo courtesy of Camden Hardy.

If you are in town for the conference, come see James Luckett, Camden Hardy and me dissect the Postcard Collective including these two images from Kristin Reeves and Maria Daniela Quirós.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Saturday, March 1, 2014


Hello Society for Photographic Education website. I was looking up a conference detail for next week and forgot this was one of several variations of the SPE homepage this month. David C. Nolan strikes again.