well, my love affair with the Forth Worth Modern continues… this weekend I finally made it over to see Glenn Ligon: America, his first mid-career retrospective originally shown at the Whitney last spring. The exhibition was wonderfully put together and consisted of over 80 of his most pivotal works, beginning from the 1980s.
Notes on the Margin of the Black Book (Guggenheim Image.)
I was most intrigued to see Notes on the Margin of the Black Book, a piece he made in the 1990’s using Robert Mapplethorpe’s extremely controversial The Black Book, which was a series of nude and homoerotic photographs of solely black men. Mapplethorpe’s book was received with a lot of resistance when it was published in 1986, many people (politicians, critics, writers, patrons, etc) were outraged and the responses varied covering many heated issues. Ligon, took seventy-one of these responses from all types of people, and printed them along side the photographs. It is really interesting to read all the different responses and feelings these photographs bring up and how invested people get. It all just made me love photography even more.. this is my favorite quote from the series and maybe the one I most agreed with, but then again, a lot has changed since these photographs were taken.
I could never be embarrassed by it becuase I just divorce myself from the image and after that, It’s just a picture.” -Jack Walls.
They don’t allow camera’s into the exhibition but I snuck a few of his new neon works, America.
America is reversed, but since some of the letters are the same backwards it provokes this feeling of facing away from us, but also towards us. Bringing up our expectation yet disappointment, identification yet alienation, that we sometimes feel towards this great country. (from the wall text)
photos from the day