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Judy Fiskin: On Photography

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Since the early 1970s, Judy Fiskin has worked with photography and video to examine the aesthetic values of everyday architecture, popular culture, and visual art. 

Born in Chicago and currently based in Los Angeles, the artist is best known for her series of intimately scaled black-and-white photographs of Southern Californian architecture and landscapes. In 1997 Fiskin developed a condition that made it difficult to stand in the dark room for long periods of time, and she began working largely in video.

Diary Of A Midlife Crisis 1997 Cat Gig 1

Still from Diary of a Midlife Crisis, 1997


Judy Fiskin

This selection of three videos celebrates the artist’s recent gift to the museum of many of her video works and demonstrates Fiskin’s frank and often humorous observations on art and life. Diary of a Midlife Crisis (1997), one of her earliest videos, follows the artist’s shift from producing analog photographs to moving images and surfaces the absurdity and sentimentality of art making and aesthetic hierarchies. The video conflates her feeling stuck as an artist with her fear of moving the video camera. 

In the past two decades, Fiskin has returned to considering the role of the artist with The End of Photography (2006) and I Was an iPhone Addict (2018). Both works meditate on transitions in artistic practice and the experience of engaging with the digital world. The former—made at a time when digital imaging was clearly beginning to replace analog photography—is an elegy to the darkroom process. Fiskin produced the latter film after years of avoiding using her iPhone camera; finding herself addicted to taking iPhone photographs, the artist attempted to sort the 7,000 images she had taken in one year.

The program of three videos will play at the top of every hour.

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