Postcard Therapy, Part I

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I’ve gotten into quite the habit of collecting postcards. In addition to many being too pretty and/or funny not to, I’ve found they’re often an inexpensive way to preserve the memory from a particular time, place or event. Therefore you can imagine my admiration when I discovered the therapist I’m currently seeing is also an avid postcard fan. What’s more, she likes to write down our future appointments for me on the ones she has collected, which all go on to make a nice little addition to the sleeve at the back of my planner.

After leaving one of our sessions earlier I was struck with the idea of starting (yet another) ongoing series, this one focusing on the postcards she gives me. So without further adieu, here is part one – an instalment from today, courtesy of artist and cartoonist Dan Perjovschi from The Room Drawings in 2006.

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Performance In A Snapshot

Orphée (2012)
Orphée by Tokyo Rumando. 2012

Over the weekend, I decided to put my Tate pass to good use and went to see the exhibition Performing for the Camera, which ended on Sunday 12th June after a four month run. Combining two of the Tate Modern’s key interests – performance and photography – the exhibition examined the relationship between the two, taking us from the invention of the photographic medium in the nineteenth century, to digital cameras and social media. The works included dealt with a wide range of topics, such as identity politics, constructed families and improvisational snapshots. The exhibition itself was split into various rooms, each of which conveyed their own theme.

I very much enjoyed wandering through and exploring the many ways photography has and continues to be presented as performative. And although photography was not allowed in the exhibition (l’ironie!) I made a note of some of my favourites, so that I could share them with you below. So for anyone who didn’t get a chance to catch the exhibition while it was still on, here are some of the works, categorised by theme. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Staging/Collaboration
Looking at performances that exist solely to be photographed, rather than simply documenting events that would have taken place regardless.

Kamaitachi 1969
Eikoh Hosoe, Kamaitachi 1969

a private landscape (1971)

a private landscape 2 (1971)
Eikoh Hosoe, Simmon: A Private Landscape 1971

Photographic Actions
The idea of a photographic image creating a unique space within which an action can be performed or captured.

grace being painted by keith (1976 -1986)
Andy Warhol, Grace being painted by Keith 1976-1986
claudia schiffer series (2009)
Erwin Wurm, Untitled (Claudia Schiffer Series) 2009
dropping a han dynasty urn (1995)
Ai Weiwei, Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn 1995
eel series, roma (1977)
Francesca Woodman, Eel Series, Roma 1977-8

Performing Icons
Photography as used to create opportunities to enact poses and characters, exploring deeper questions and ideas of identity, race, religion and gender.

african spirits (2008)
Samuel Fosso, African Spirits 2008
arthur rimbaud in new york (1978-9)
David Wojnarowicz, Arthur Rimbaud in New York 1978-9

Self/Portrait
Traces some of the ways in which the photographic self-portrait can explore notions of identity.

portrait of an artist in his studio (1971)
Hannah Wilke, Portrait of the Artist in his Studio 1971
She/She 1981/2007 by Linder born 1954
Linder, She/She 1981
Seven Twists I-VI 1979, printed 2011 by Dora Maurer born 1937
Dora Maurer, Seven Twists I-VI 1979
food for the spirit (1971)
Adrian Piper, Food For the Spirit 1971

Brief back story for this particualar photography series which I found interesting: To counter the feeling that she was disappearing, the artist, Adrian Piper, would photograph the reflection of herself in a mirror, often fully nude, while recording herself reciting the passages from Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason (1781).

bukubuku (1991)
Masahisa Fukase, Bukubuku (Bubbling) 1991

Performing Real Life
Exploring the elements of performance that inevitably seep into our factual images, particularly in the advent of the camera phone and social media.

from window 1 (1974)

from window 2 (1974)
Masahisa Fukase, From Window 1974

crimean snobbism (1982)

crimean snobbism 3 (1982)
Boris Mikhailov, Crimean Snobbism 1982

excellences and perfections 1 (2014)

excellences and perfections (2014)
Amalia Ulman, Excellences and Perfections 2014