Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Foto op...

If you are planning a trip to Washington, D.C. you MUST make time to visit the National Gallery of Art. They have a terrific exhibit looking at experimental photography in Eastern Europe during the interwar years. It contains absolutely stunning and thought-provoking images superimposed on each other, a series of very clever and surreal photo montages, a lot of fascinating photographs exploring the nature of machines in modern society, the devastation caused by the first world war and the menacing encroachment of the second. It was spectacular! Of course I bought the accompanying book, which I highly recommend if you can't make it to the exhibit in person. It's a great companion to Undercover Surrealism which I bought after seeing the exhibit in London last summer. I spend a lot of time in art galleries when I travel and this was one of the most fascinating exhibits I have ever seen. It was based on a journal created by Georges Bataille in the 1920s to comment on the contemporary post WW1 world through the most interesting and obscure juxtapositions of cultural artifacts. I spent hours in the gallery reading almost every word on every single specimen card. You can read more about the exhibit and see some of the images in the Guardian's archives here. But treat yourself and your coffee table and buy a copy of the book too.

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