Back to Moma this afternoon to see Jeff Wall with Husband for the second time. A kid was sitting on the floor of the museum, drawing an helicopter.
A few more thoughts on Jeff Wall.
His photos are interesting because they are full of clues. They promise to solve a mystery or to reveal a secret. You know that there is a story there, even if you cannot quite tell what the story is. But you can unravel one detail at the time, and learn something new with each new clue discovered, without ever been certain that you know the entire (or true) story.
In modern art sometimes the process that creates the art piece is more important than the art piece itself. Husband and I saw a 1972 video of artist Paul McCarthy painting with a big bucket of white paint and using his body as a brush. The painting, if it survives, it’s just as a vestige of the artistic process, from which we are excluded.
In Jeff Wall’s photographs, instead, the process of creation is hidden, irrelevant (although probably painstaking and elaborate). What counts is the final product and, even more, the process of interpretation that connects the viewers—us—with the photograph. Art happens here and now, not in the artist’s studio 30 years ago.