Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Fotografuję, żeby pamiętać

A lot of rediculously awexome bands were formed at art schools: Talking Heads, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, to start. But how many really awexome bands came from music schools?

Exactly. By the way, the answers would have been Dream Theater (Berklee), Alarm Will Sound (Eastman), and Kneebody (also Eastman). One drawback of attending a conservatory is not being able to bounce ideas off of students of other disciplines. If not for all the art majors I hung out with last year, I would have no idea that I hate Matthew Barney (kind of) and no idea what post-feminism is. Not that anyone does.

Being a bit of a pinhole photography enthusiast and of vaguely Polish descent, it would have been silly not to attend "Made In Poland: Contemporary Pinhole Photography" at the Art Institute of Boston. The problem was that it was a little silly, upon arriving for the gallery talk I immediately got the sense that I was at a party that I wasn't really invited to. The crowd was easily divisible into three groups.

1) A close-knit fifty-something group of curators and art collectors
2) Ferocious cliques of Art Institute of Boston students
3) Pinhole photographers who only speak Polish

The exhibit was fantastic, but didn't really have any sort of confidence of why I was there. I showed the Populist DX to anyone to who would listen, but the responses ranged from detached curiosity to dismissive to the point of insult. Highly discouraging to say the least, in retrospect I should have returned on Saturday for the Meet the Artists/Portfolio Sharing event but since I lack one those too....

Whatever, fuck 'em. I can't recommend the exhibit enough, Poland is touted as a budding center for contemporary pinhole work and the pictures certainly supported that. I'd try to single them out but each of the seven artists presented approached the box-o-film so distinctly and uniquely that I'd drown the blog. Their individual websites are accessible from the exhibit site.

The curator's note echoes a lot of the reasons that I like pinhole photography, other than that my dad gave me a sweet camera: an inherent inclusion of the passage of time, and a refreshingly proletariat economy. This latter point was the real cause of frustration with a couple people at the exhibit. (Along the lines of: "Isn't this one of those kits you can buy?" "No, motherfucker! You make it!") Anyway, with such stunning examples to draw from maybe I'll try something other than pointing at something I see on the streets.

The exhibit runs until March 4 at the Art Institute of Boston and returns for round 2 from May 25 to September 16 at UMass Dartmouth.


Matthew said...

I'm going to show my age here, but I would add to the music-school band list my fellow not-quite-alumni, Chicago (DePaul University School of Music, though I'm pretty sure they didn't all graduate). Forget all that 80's crap—the Terry Kath-era albums are still pretty cool stuff.

Andy H-D said...

I should've known I was asking for it was such a bold statement, my list of art school bands isn't exactly exhaustive.

I've only heard of the early Chicago albums, especially "Free Form Guitar", in myth and legend. But if we're talking proto-fusion, I'm embarassed that I neglected my own fellow alumni, Matrix. Although most of them were actually faculty when I was there.

Ide do domu said...

"Fotografuję, żeby pamiętać" - that's my quote.

All the best.

Andrzej Bogacz (Polish Pinhole Photographer)