February 23, 2008
December 20, 2007—For her first one-person exhibition in New York, Anne Collier has assembled a concise body of photographs depicting familiar objects (such as a sunset poster, a stack of albums, or magazine covers) rephotographed in the artist’s studio. Recognizable as slightly out-dated relics from a recent past, Collier transforms the evocative charge of the original images into visual contemplations on such eternal topics as the meaning of pop culture, the outward appearance (or the “look”) of emotions and sentiment, and the mechanics of the gaze.
In preparing these photographs, Collier culls from an archive of almost obsolete and nearly timeless paraphernalia (record covers, film stills, photo magazines, as well as music-, hippie-, and political posters). Placed against a neutral background, these items are shot with a 4x5 plate camera and always printed slightly smaller or larger than life.
For example, the poster of an ominous black-and-red sunset is pinned against a marked-up white wall and placed above a black carpet that create the illusion of a horizon yet also define the concrete visual space of Collier’s intervention. Blemishes are exposed and create the historical difference of re-contextualization. It feels as if in her photographs Collier turns the volume down to zero, and by slowly turning it back up, she exposes all the markings of time and personal history that transform a sentimental image (of say, free love, peace, and liberation) into one of analytical and emotional strength.