Wednesday, September 19, 2007

JoAnn Verburg update

Yesterday I frustratingly found the stub of an NYTimes article on Verburg's MoMA show. But as the NYTimes decided as of midnight to "de-classify" all of it's online articles and no longer charge for them, the whole thing is now conveniently available today (along with many many more...) - yeay!

"TIME doesn’t exactly stand still in JoAnn Verburg’s photographs. Not that her single images, diptychs and triptychs are set up to create narrative sequences in which one thing leads to another, as with Eadweard Muybridge’s motion studies of a man jumping or a horse running. Instead her portraits, still lifes and landscapes generate a state of prolonged experience. Ms. Verburg spends most of her days in Minneapolis in her studio, but she makes a distinction between the production work she does there — scanning her film, editing images, researching — and the creative work she does in other places, mostly in Italy or Florida, where she and her husband spend extended periods of time...

...Italy has been a rich source of inspiration. “Exploding Triptych, 2000” is part of a series of photographs of olive trees that began with a simple snapshot near a house she and her husband rented in the countryside near Spoleto. “There was something I wanted to pursue — I didn’t know what exactly — a freshness or airiness, a sense of vitality,” she said.

Ms. Verburg doesn’t set out with a particular idea of what she wants to photograph. She finds her way into a subject or a theme, “like a dog who circles a few times to make a nest before she lies down in a ball to sleep,” she said. “With the olive tree photos, the best state of mind I can be in is to be without expectations and to be ready to go to work not knowing what the work will be or if I will later like what I have done.”

As ever, she eventually gravitated to the same theme of time and space in that series. As she spent more time photographing in the olive groves, her interest in color grew. She started photographing in the early morning or at dusk, when “the light shifted from blue to yellow to reddish-magenta to purple, and I had to be ready before the yellow light disappeared, or I was too late.”

“Living — being alive — is a present-tense enterprise.”"

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