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Description - The Transportation of Place by Andrea Robbins

Andrea Robbins and Max Becher draw on a rich visual vocabulary gleaned as much from travel brochures, postcards, and National Geographic as from the photography of Walker Evans, Edward Curtis, and Stephen Shore. In doing so, Robbins and Becher produce work that functions as surreal nonfiction, using documentary images to examine contradictions of place and cultural identity. In the words of the artists, "The primary focus of our work is what we call the transportation of place - situations in which one limited or isolated place strongly resembles another distant one. Everywhere, not only in the new world, such situations are accumulating and accepted as genuine locales. Traditional notions of place, in which culture and geographic location neatly coincide, are being challenged by legacies of slavery, colonialism, holocaust, immigration, tourism, and mass-communication. Whether the subject is Germany in Africa, Germans dressing as Native Americans, American towns dressed as Germany, New York in Las Vegas, New York in Cuba, or Cuba in exile, our interest tends to be a place out of place with its various causes and consequences." The work posits vital questions for a globalized world: What are the larger implications of "ideological passing," when one culture assumes the skin of another? And what role can photography play as a document in context where cultural signification is entirely fluid? Curator and author Maurice Berger examines the work of Robbins and Becher against the background of race and identity, but also of Surrealism. Lucy Lippard discusses the development of the husband-and-wife team's work together, as well as looking specifically at the ideas of location, landscape, and manufactured place.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781597110105
ISBN-10: 1597110108
Format: Hardback
(254mm x 298mm x mm)
Pages: 156
Imprint: Aperture
Publisher: Aperture
Publish Date: 1-May-2006
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Andrea Robbins

U.S.-born ANDREA ROBBINS and German MAX BECHER both received BFAs from Cooper Union. They have had solo exhibitions at Photographische Sammlung, Cologne, Germany; the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; American Fine Arts, New York; Robert B. Menschel Photography Gallery, Syracuse, New York; and elsewhere. They have been in numerous group exhibitions in venues including the Guggenheim, Bilbao and in New York at the Whitney Museum of American Art, International Center of Photography, the Guggenheim, the New Museum, Dia Art Foundation, the Jewish Museum, and Museum of Modern Art. They are represented in New York by Sonnabend Gallery, and their work is in major collections such as the International Center of Photography, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Guggenheim, the Jewish Museum, and the Maison Europeenne de la Photographie in Paris. MAURICE BERGER is a fellow at the Vera List Center for Art and Politics, New School University, New York, and curator of the Center for Art and Visual Culture, University of Maryland Baltimore County. He is the author of nine books, including the critically acclaimed White Lies: Race and the Myths of Whiteness (1999) - a finalist for the Horace Mann Bond Book Award of W.E.B. DuBois Institute at Harvard University. Throughout her prolific career, LUCY LIPPARD has edited or written over eighteen books on artists or art movements, including On the Beaten Track: Tourism, Art, and Place (1999) and The Lure of the Local: Sense of Place in a Multicentered Society (1997). A Guggenheim fellowship recipient, she has written for Art in America, the Village Voice, and other publications. Lippard lives in New York City and New Mexico.

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