Monday, July 23, 2007

more MoMA

While at MoMA, I also got to see two photography exhibits that I adored: the new JoAnn Verburg exhibit, "Present Tense", and the Barry Frydlender exhibit, "Place and Time". These were the two exhibits that left me the most satisfied with my trip above 14th street, especially since I was bummed to find out that the regular photo gallery was closed until August 8th for a new installation.

I was really inspired by the Verburg exhibit, which was split into two separate rooms: landscapes and portraits. Many of the landscapes pictured were taken in Italy, where her and her husband spend a lot of their time. There she worked on a series of olive trees, which includes the photo below called, "Campello Olive Trees for Giulio."

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What I loved about the olive trees series was that as a viewer, I felt like I was looking out from among the trees. My perspective had shifted environments and I was among the tree branches--not in some lame spiritual sense, but physically. It was really calming and exhilirating at the same time. Those photos reminded me of this Bernardo Bertolucci film called "Stealing Beauty" starring Liv Tyler. Although it's not my favorite film by the Italian director, it is set in a beautiful Tuscan villa and follows the daughter of a poet whose early work has secret messages revolving around this area in Tuscany. I know, it's a little sentimental and girly, but it has this sense of youthful joie de vivre and beauty that reminds me of the same feeling I get looking at Verburg's olive trees.

"Living--being alive--is a present-tense enterprise." -- JoAnn Verburg, in last week's NY Times article "Moments in Time, Yet Somehow in Motion" by Philip Gefter.

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