The T-Shirt Issue: Muybridge on show

The T-Shirt Issue ‘Muybridge Part Two’ at MAD, NYC

by Maude Churchill
'Muybridge Part Two'

‘Muybridge Part Two’

Art collective THE T-SHIRT ISSUE were born out of a frustration with the current approach to clothing design and their result is an innovative digital approach to apparel construction that uses a 3D construction technique to give them the freedom to create garments that begin with a concept. Their latest installation, Muybridge Part Two, is currently on show at the Museum of Arts and Design in NYC. The exhibition is a study on temporal change in 3D: a bird in full flight is rigged, animated, and transported into T-shirts, and is inspired by Edward Muybridge’s photography from the late 1800′s which pioneered the capture of animal and human locomotion. Exhibitors alongside THE T-SHIRT ISSUE include Zaha Hadid, Frank Stella, Anish Kapoor and many more. The show continues until June 1.Museum of Arts and Design
The Jerome and Simona Chazen Building
2 Columbus Circle, New York City

http://www.highsnobiety.com/2014/01/28/the-t-shirt-issue-muybridge-pt-2/

Re-posted here by Stephen Herbert

Early Popular Visual Culture

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I’m a little late in posting details of a Special Muybridge issue of the Routledge academic journal Early Popular Visual Culture, for which I was pleased to be guest editor. The contents, in no particular order, are as follows:

Early Popular Visual Culture
Volume 11, Issue 1, 2013

Eadweard Muybridge issue : Introduction
Stephen Herbert

A ‘roundup’ of Muybridge-related activity, 2010-2012.

Reflections on time, motion and photomechanics
Jonathan Shaw

This article is a reflection on my own practice and its connection to changing representations of time and movement within photography. In my work as an artist and photographer, I have endeavoured to develop a particular perspective on the relation between the heritage of photomechanical tools, new technologies, memory and space. In what follows, I describe a series of pivotal moments in the formation of this perspective as they exemplify a specific strand of photography, showing how they connect to wider transformations in the field of visual cultures.

Loops and joins: Muybridge and the optics of animation
Esther Leslie

Film is rightly understood to be an art of movement, but stasis plays a role too, from the first films which cranked into seeming life out of stillness to the mechanisms of contemporary animation, which is pervasive in cinema today. This article explores the relationship of stillness and movement in early cinema and pre-cinematic optical technologies, which demand a flick of the wrist to produce movement out of stasis. Muybridge’s sequential photographs found their way into some of these early and later technologies and provided the basis for such demonstration of the emergence of movement out of stillness. If mobility and stillness are concentrated oppositions in Muybridge’s work, so too are the related themes of animation and inanimateness, a partnering that relates less to the analytical dissection of life and more to the evocation of a spirited magic.

Muybridge, authorship, originality
Marta Braun

This article addresses questions concerning photographic authorship and originality, and how these issues relate to the work of Eadweard Muybridge. The subject of legitimacy concerning the scientific nature of many of Muybridge’s photographs is reviewed, considering his retouching, cropping, and rearrangement of images. The role of the University of Pennsylvania’s ‘Muybridge Committee’ is also discussed.

Eadweard Muybridge: Inverted modernism and the stereoscopic vision
Marek Pytel

Eadweard Muybridge’s stereoscopic photographs, published in large numbers before his famous motion sequence series were taken, have had much less exposure, and have been subject to far less research, than his chronophotographic images. This short study of just one of the more enigmatic examples of his stereographs considers some relevant aspects of visual perception, and the circular image, proposing connections between these aspects of Muybridge’s work and the Rotoreliefs of Marcel Duchamp.

Chronophotography in the context of moving pictures
Deac Rossell

This article, originally a talk given at Kingston Museum in 2010, considers the ‘four great chronophotographers’ – Eadweard Muybridge, Étienne-Jules Marey, Georges Demenÿ, and Ottomar Anschütz, and their reputations as ‘inventors of cinema’ – in the context of achievements by lesser known workers including Victor von Reitzner, George William de Bedts, Ernst Kohlrausch, Robert Dempsey Gray, and William Gilman Thompson, many of whom saw a different methodology for making series photographs turn into moving pictures, for different purposes. The article suggests ways in which the story of chronophotography in the context of moving pictures is currently incomplete.

Plus related book reviews.

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Muybridge, Michalek, Murphy: Olympic Celebration at Kingston

Olympic Celebration: Athletes in Motion

(c) Kingston Museum

The following is from This is Local London. A review and photos will follow.

http://www.thisislocallondon.co.uk/news/9829004.100_year_old_photos_capture_athletes_in_motion/

‘Kingston exhibition features 100-year-old photos of athletes in motion
7:30am Wednesday 25th July 2012 in News
By Clare Buchanan

The exhibition will be at Kingston Museum from 28th July.

In the Olympic year Kingston Museum is exploring old and new techniques used to capture athletes in motion.
The exhibition will demonstrate the way artists and photographers have changed and evolved and how they depict the human body over time. The showcase includes work by Kingston-born, Victorian photographer Eadweard Muybridge, who bequeathed his personal collection to the borough in 1904 and paved the way for capturing the world in motion. He was a pioneer in trying to capture motion in sequence photography and the exhibition displays many of his 1887 experiments of humans and animals in motion. Much of his work was devoted to athletics and the male physical form, reflecting a new emphasis on physical fitness and ideals of masculinity in the 19th century.

In contrast, the display also includes contemporary artist David Michalek’s work, which captures athletes in motion in high definition. Coinciding with the 2012 Games the exhibition also focuses on 21st century techniques, including the use of sport biomechanics to measure and correct technique and injury rehabilitation. A video by Charlie Murphy, called the Kingston Big Wheel, will accompany the exhibition, courtesy of the Stanley Picker Gallery.

The video is inspired by Muybridge’s iconic motion sequence and features 300 gymnasts, dancers and athletes creating a chain of human cartwheels. The Kingston Big Wheel forms the final project for No Competition – a series of artist projects exploring the relationship between art and non-competitive sport.’

Olympic Celebration: Athletes in Motion, Kingston Museum, Wheatfield Way, Kingston. From July 28 to October 20. Admission free. Contains nudity. Phone 020 8547 6463 or visit kingston.gov.uk/museum

David Michalek is an artist who takes the concept and techniques of portraiture as the starting points for the creation of his works, on both a large and small-scale, in a range of mediums. While earning a B.A. in English Literature from U.C.L.A., Michalek worked as an assistant to noted photographer Herb Ritts. Beginning in the mid-1990s, he began his professional photographic career working as a portrait artist for publications such as The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Interview, and Vogue. Concurrently, Michalek began to delve into performance, installation, and multi-disciplinary projects. Since giving up commercial photography in 1998, his work has been shown nationally and internationally with recent public art and solo exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum, the LA Music Center, Harvard University, Sadler’s Wells, Trafalgar Square, Opera Bastille, Venice Biennale, Yale University, The Kitchen, Lincoln Center and at the Edinburgh Festival at Summerhall with the Richard DeMarco Foundation. He has collaborated on the visual art component of two staged works with Peter Sellars: Kafka Fragments, presented as part of Carnegie Hall’s 2005-06 season; and St. François d’Assise, presented at the Salzburg Festival and Paris Opera. Other film and video work for theater includes collaborations with The Tallis Scholars; John Malpede and L.A.P.D., and with the Brooklyn Philharmonic in a project for The Brooklyn Museum’s “Music Off the Walls” series. He is a visiting faculty member at Yale Divinity School, where he lectures on religion and the arts. David Michalek lives in New York with his wife Wendy Whelan, principal dancer of New York City Ballet.

http://www.davidmichalek.net/about.php

Posted here by Stephen Herbert

Degas and ‘Picturing Movement’ at the Royal Academy

Your tardy blogger has finally been to see Degas and the Ballet. Picturing Movement, at the Royal Academy of Arts, London. A brief visit only, and I shall be returning for a more extensive tour – to learn more about Degas and enjoy his paintings, drawings and sculptures, and not just to admire the exhibits relating to chronophotography – before the show closes on 11 December.

An unrepeatable opportunity to see all of these Degas works, so do try to get to the exhibition if you can. First impressions then.

The catalogue, by Richard Kendall and Jill Devonyar is an attractive and engaging piece of research and presentation and great value (reduced to less than £15 at the time of my visit). Muybridge images used include the usual Zoopraxiscope colour photograph (with the top and chimney that don’t actually belong); the colour disc White and Black Running Race; a nice 1889 letter from Muybridge to Frederick A. Eaton of the RA, concerning Muybridge’s forthcoming lectures there; and a single image from ‘Annie G. in Canter’ (Animal Locomotion plate 621) together with an exact copy in chalk by Degas. Many images relating to Marey’s work are also included. The text concerning the relationships between the work of Marey, Muybridge, and Degas is carefully researched and well written and very interesting to read; and of permanent value.

White and Black Race (Zoopraxiscope disc)

The exhibition is spread through several rooms and wasn’t crowded during my visit. There’s a great deal of material concerning the relationship between Degas and photography in general, as well as chronophotography. Most of the Muybridge material relates to aspects of dance postures. One of Marey’s large chrono plate cameras sits in a rather gloomy cabinet in one corner, failing to look interesting. The Zoopraxiscope is better presented, but in a context that raises some questions. In the same cabinet is one picture disc, the 1893 Athletes Running (White and Black Running Race); two athletes, one white and one black, compete in a track race, with a large audience of matchstick figures in the background. This disc is one of the series of drawings based on Muybridge photo sequences combined with imaginary elements – in this case the people watching the race. On the wall above the machine is a large video projection; an animation of a Muybridge sequence of a male athlete performing a ballet-related movement, taken from an Animal Locomotion reproduction of the actual photographic images. Judging from the overheard discussions of those examining this exhibit, visitors are understandably confused. The animation that they’re watching doesn’t appear to have anything in common with the images on the displayed picture disc.

First Ballet Action (from Animal Locomotion)

Of course it’s tempting to animate the Animal Locomotion sequences as the result is very seductive, but it seems to me that this particular exhibit should have had, instead, an accompanying video of a disc animation – perhaps the popular subject Woman Dancing [Kingston EM0052] which is probably the most relevant to the exhibition’s subject – to bring some point to the display of the Zoopraxiscope. The exhibition curators have missed an important trick here, since the animated disc images would have made apparent to the visitor a lesser-known aspect of Muybridge’s work that relates directly to drawing and painting, surely of interest in an exhibition about Degas and movement. The catalogue touches on the production methods of the actual disc pictures and gets it nearly right, so it’s difficult to understand how this misleading display option was decided upon. And since the name of the artist, Irwin Faber, who interpreted and drew these extrapolations from Muybridge sequences is known, that name should have been there too. It seems that there’s still some way to go before art historians apply their usually very meticulous discipline in presenting accounts of technical processes and artist attribution, to peripheral subjects such as Zoopraxography. But there was a certain satisfaction in seeing the Zoopraxiscope back at the RA, after almost 130 years.

More on the exhibition, with less harping on about my own view of its very few shortcomings, soon.

Posted here by Stephen Herbert

(White and Black Race Running Race photo courtesy Kingston Museum)

Corcoran ‘Helios’ exhibition: design photos online

For those of us who were unable to visit the major Muybridge exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington last year, there are several photographs on the website of Reich+Petch, giving a good idea of the aesthetic of the exhibition’s design. This is from their website:

“Corcoran Gallery of Art: Helios – Eadweard Muybridge in a Time of Change (Travelling Exhibit)

A key design challenge was conveying the significance of Eadweard Muybridge’s visionary ideas to a contemporary audience that is technologically sophisticated. Muybridge was ahead of his time. The visual language established from the earliest meeting with the Gallery was to present his art in a way that dispensed with traditional Victorian vernacular. The resulting design is intentionally devoid of excess.
Client / Corcoran Gallery of Art
Location / Washington, D.C. (travelling)
Size / 9,000 square feet
Scope / Exhibit Design, Graphic Design

Reich+Petch is a multi-disciplinary design group with over 25 years experience. The hallmark of our work and our brand is “experience design” and we are firmly rooted in the importance of the visitor experience. We are inspired by opportunities that allow us to create meaningful and engaging environments that excite the senses and make an emotional connection.

Reich+Petch is a design collaborative including exhibit designers, interior designers, graphic designers and industrial designers as well as architects, technologists, facility planners, and project managers. We have worked in over 20 countries, have appeared in numerous publications and have won many awards. Reich + Petch have created signature projects that have come to define the very clients we work for.”

http://www.reich-petch.com/portfolio/type/exhibit-design/helios-eadweard-muybridge-in-a-time-of-change

Posted here by Stephen Herbert