Magazine article Artforum International

Babette Mangolte: Broadway 1602

Magazine article Artforum International

Babette Mangolte: Broadway 1602

Article excerpt

For "Collision," her second solo show at Broadway 1602, avant-garde filmmaker and documentary photographer Babette Mangolte opted, as the title suggests, to bring together the many materials, methods, and periods of her production. Mangolte is, of course, known by now--the woman behind the lens, producing images of so many of the most germinal performances of the 1970s and beyond; without her, we would have much less of the still scant "proof" of events by Trisha Brown, Yvonne Rainer, Robert Whitman, and Richard Foreman, to name just a few. But although Mangolte's complicated position as "documenter" of ephemeral actions has recently begun to receive serious attention (regarding the ways in which her images operate after the fact, for instance; or how she is, as cameraperson, both present and totally absent, rarely pictured), her various modes of production are too often held apart. "Collision" insists that we consider the implications of her limber ocular drive, and in so doing that we reassess the presumptions that still impel categorical divisions between these modes.

Indeed, if Mangolte does not appear in any of the photographs or films on view here. (save a stray snapshot in the back room, not actually in the show, of the artist capturing her own image by way of camera and mirror), she nonetheless deftly points to the ways in which she is always considering her own position in relationship to her subject. In a recent essay addressing precisely this topic, Mangolte describes the constant "contradiction between objectivity and specificity [as] a balancing act between two opposite pulls." Without wanting, while documenting, say, a performance by John Jonas, to inadvertently allow her own aesthetic taste to determine the shots, Mangolte nonetheless admits that some subjective criteria is in play while obtaining pictures with any kind of "specificity. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.