Artist: Hollis Frampton
Venue: Room East, New York
Exhibition Title: ADSVMVS ABSVMVS
Date: October 25 – December 20, 2015
Note: A booklet accompanying the exhibition can be found for download here.
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Room East, New York
In cooperation with The Estate of Hollis Frampton, ROOM EAST will exhibit the artist’s last major portfolio of photographs, ADSVMVS ABSVMVS, 1982. This will be Frampton’s first solo exhibition in New York City, a remarkable fact considering his renown and association with the city. The following is an excerpt from the artist’s original proposal for ADSVMVS ABSVMVS:
One general, public assumption about photographs is that the process of photographic representation amounts to a preservation or embalming process. The lost presence of the photographed thing, person, situation is invoked through a mummified echo, reduced to a husk of the light that once revealed it. The photographic likeness bears a distant, partial, decolorized or muted resemblance to its subject; at the same time, it has unique qualities of its own, which are entirely independent of what it depicts. Every photograph is potentially a keepsake, like a lock of hair, and a MEMENTO MORI.
For some years I have been interested in this abstract process of preservation, and its symmetry with natural processes of mummification where the contour of the once living thing is recognizably retained. I have made a collection of such “autographic likenesses” of animals. They range from Upstate New York road kills, flattened and sun-baked, to dried fish and squid in oriental food markets: a single general process and appearance, metaphorically reminiscent of the photographic image, covers a range from the blatantly morbid through the grotesque and sentimental to the edible. Like photographs, as well, they are remarkable objects in themselves.
For the exhibition ROOM EAST will distribute copies of a poster that was designed by Frampton, which provide accompanying texts that he wrote for each of the fourteen images. In addition to archival materials on loan from the Estate of the artist, there will be handwritten notes, associated ephemera and related work on view. ROOM EAST is organizing a screening and panel talk at Anthology Film Archives on Sunday, November 15th.
HOLLIS FRAMPTON was an avant-garde photographer, filmmaker, theorist, and pioneer of art making in the early digital era. Active from the 1950s until his death in 1984, Frampton was also a prolific poet, professor and contributor to both Artforum and October. His film archive is maintained by the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and by Harvard University, Cambridge. His photographs are preserved in a range of institutional collections including the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.