The Little Screens
Yesterday i went to see Hyper Real - Art and America around 1970 at Ludwig Forum in Aachen, convinced that i was doing something that would be more informative than really pleasant. Wrong! The exhibition -which explores the artistic reflection of the American Way of Life in the context of socio-political phenomena, such as the Vietnam War, the Oil-Crisis, the Civil-Rights-Movement and the Nixon Era- is moving, thought-provoking and at times, almost painfully relevant to the world as we experience it today.
Proper report will arrive as soon as i'm back home. Let me just highlight The Little Screens, a photo series i discovered or maybe re-discovered (i wasn't aware of its existence but many of the images in the series seemed to be so familiar to me) in Aachen.
Lee Friedlander has captured the interior of American home as they were starting to be taken over by television. The black and white photographs, all taken in the early 1960s, convey an eerie feeling. The tv screen seems to intrude on the household, to act as voyeur rather than as an object whose sole purpose is to be viewed. What makes each photograph even more uncomfortable is that the tv viewer is absent. On the other hand, the images glowing on the screen are given a kind of humanity and have thus come to substitute to the spectator.
You can buy the book of the series, Lee Friedlander: The Little Screens, it is not cheap but damn! do i want it.