Friday, August 22, 2008

Abstract: Multiple exposures - Snapshots

Untitled [Two steamships]
1940 (ca)

Gelatin silver print, snapshot, double exposure
3.5 x 5.5 in

Private collection of John Foster
Copyright - Collection of John and Teenuh Foster

An increasing critical interest in vernacular photography and the snapshot has led to exhibitions and books in the last decade and a new online exhibition has been added to Luminous-Lint. The exhibition The Art of the American Snapshot 1888-1978 at the National Gallery of Art came from the collection of Robert E. Jackson and the Accidental Mysteries touring exhibition came from the collection of John and Teenuh Foster ( Other exhibitions such as Close to Home: An American Album at the Getty Center (October 12, 2004 - January 16, 2005) highlight how the photographic snapshot is being accepted as an integral part of socio-cultural history.

This exhibition includes examples of multiple exposures kindly provided from a number of private collections. Some of these are intentional whilst others are accidents of camera malfunction or failing to wind on the film. Some show elements of two frames whilst others are superimposed. In most examples the camera has been kept on the same axis for both images but in some cases landscape and portrait formats are merged to create confusingly powerful visual memories of soldiers blended with indigenous peoples. At times it can be uncertain if the result was planned in advance or a strange alignment of stars.

This is part of a number of exhibitions on Multiple Exposures that will be shown on Luminous-Lint and as always we welcome additional examples. Thanks to John Foster, Norman Kulkin, Nigel Maister and the private collectors who have provided examples for this exhibition.

Further reading:

Ford, Colin, and Karl Steinorth, eds. You Press the Button, We Do the Rest: The Birth of Snapshot Photography London: D. Nishen, 1988.

Greenough, Sarah & Waggoner, Diane, 2007, The Art of the American Spanshot 1888-1978', (Washington: National Gallery of Art in association with Princeton University Press) [ISBN: 978-0-691-13368-3]

Johnson, Robert Flynn (Editor); & Boyd, William (Introduction), 2004, ‘Anonymous. Enigmatic images from unknown photographers.’, (New York: Thames & Hudson) [Hardback] [ISBN: 0500542929]

Skrein, Christian R. (editor, Essay); Aletti, Vince (Essay); & Aigner, Carl (Essay), 2004, ‘Snapshots: The Eye of the Century’, (Hatje Cantz Publishers) [Hardcover] [ISBN: 3775713964]

There is an online exhibition on Luminous-Lint.

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