Muybridge in Kingston: Muybridge Revolutions
18 Sept 2010 – 12 Feb 2011
Don’t take my word for it – see for yourself the wonderful exhibition at Kingston Museum – now running.
I was pleased to be asked to give a talk on the opening night (yesterday), following a shadow-play workshop by Zannie Fraser, and a magic lantern show by Mervyn Heard.
Large Muybridge in Kingston posters greeted us as we walked to the Museum from the Station; an impressive promotion.
From the first glance, it’s obvious that this is a very special exhibition. The quality of the design, build, (by James Rowlands) and of course the academic work by Peta Cook and Alexandra Reynolds that very clearly underpins the display will, I feel, be evident to any visitor.
Late night installation by James Rowlands and team.
And the artefacts look wonderful – even to those of us familiar with them. At last, this world-class Muybridge collection can be seen for what it is, even though two important objects – the 17ft long panorama of San Francisco, and the original Zoopraxiscope – are at Tate Britain. (There’s a faithful replica Zoop in the Kingston show.) But this exhibition is about the images that Muybridge showed on the screen, explained and displayed in detail – complete with animations – for the first time. Congratulations to Kingston Museum on fully achieving the objective. And I understand that an extra section, in the old Muybridge Gallery on the ground floor, will open around 1st October.
No time to properly absorb everything last night, so a full review – with actual details rather than just superlatives – some time soon, after a second visit.
Mo and I were invited to join a dozen or so for a meal afterwards, and we sat by the River in a restaurant/bar on the ground that was once the garden-yard of the Muggeridges, behind their home in the High Street, where one hundred and sixty years ago young Edward said goodbye to his family and set off on an adventure to the New World.
This exhibition places Muybridge’s unique discs within the context of both his career and the history of moving image projection. Displayed alongside the discs are some of the original photographic sequences that informed them, represented as collotype prints and images on glass. The relationship between the original photographic sequences and the discs form an integral part of a new interpretation of his work, the result of new research into the Kingston Muybridge collection.
Other items on display include examples of Muybridge’s rare and intriguing ‘coded’ lecture slides, some of his equipment and a unique scrapbook charting his phenomenal career. Many of these objects have never been seen on public display before, providing an exciting opportunity to provide people with rare access to new knowledge through this important collection.
To accompany the original objects, a beautiful replica of the Zoöpraxiscope forms a central part of the exhibition, alongside a specially commissioned set of animations which emulate the original experience afforded Muybridge’s audience through the Zoöpraxiscope.
Also open now is the contemporary work ‘Dance of Ordinariness’ by Trevor Appleson, at the Stanley Picker Gallery.
Posted here by Stephen Herbert