Exhibitions

Anonymous - Type 42

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FAME IS THE NAME OF THE GAME
Anonymous - Type 42

These photos are the evidence of someone who watched a lot of television, had a lot of polaroid film, and was obsessed with women. We could assume it was a man since almost all the images are of women,but perhaps this was a woman trying to understand her role models – something i can relate to.

It’s an exhaustive study of what it is to be a woman – as if the photographer was seeking the essence of women – so carefully capturing faces close up, or it could be someone obsessed with celebrity, actresses on TV or in films, or merely someone seeking to capture some televised titillation via Hollywood or soap operas.

this person had a lot of time on their hands and watched an endless amount of TV, particularly certain shows or reruns of science fiction films. It’s a Who’s Who of ––’60’s & ’70’s American TV (Charlie’s Angels, Star Trek, Wonder Woman, Bewitched, Archie Bunker, Man from UNCLE, Hawaii 5-0, The Avengers). Many of these shows featured a variety of actresses (Twilight Zone, Star Trek) with which to gather more evidence of science fiction babes.

Most would’ve been shot off a monitor, you can see its frame, but i’m guessing some could have been taken in a theater, particularly when we see actresses from films that wouldn’t have yet been televised (Jane Fonda in Klute, released in 1971), and some are from such obscure or foreign films that wouldn’t have made it to TV until decades later when everything became available (Francoise Hardy & Romy Schneider).

So this person, obsessed with capturing dark, out of focus, often unrecognizable, fleeting images of women, sits in front of their TV every night (or day), camera in hand, watching show after show, looking for women to document.  To what purpose?  The results are sometimes scary, ghost-like, hard to figure out what’s what, they become abstract and perhaps not what the photographer had even intended.

The women are often captured in emotional states, not all are beautiful or well-built, though it’s clear that he/she was interested in their dimensions. The images are sometimes scary or ugly. Some of the women are older or from older films (Marlene Dietrich, Vera-Ellen, Claudette Colbert, Esther Williams, Ann Miller, Michael Learned, Mitzi Gaynor, Ida Lupino) so it doesn’t seem like merely a fascination with late ’60’s hairstyles or states of undress, and not all these women were known as bombshells. There’s an almost encyclopedic effort to capture every actress on this person’s television.

There are singers (Barbra Streisand, Dionne Warwick, Eartha Kitt, Nancy Sinatra, Petula Clark, Tina Turner & Lesley Gore) so this isn’t the result of someone fixating on the fictional characters portrayed. There are many women of color as well (Pam Grier, Denise Nicholas, Teresa Graves, Ja’net DuBois, Frances Fong, Brenda Sykes, Lola Falana, Nichelle Nichols Florence LaRue & Nobu McCarthy, to name just a few).

Some of the choices are downright funny or just odd choices, looking back on TV personalities who showed up on late ’60’s-early ’70’s television – Charo, Dr. Joyce Brothers, Connie Chung, Bess Myerson, and Sally Struthers.

Some are decidedly un-sexy – Julie Andrews, Claire Bloom, Kim Darby, Florence Henderson, Sandy Duncan, June Lockhart (from Lost in Space), Yvonne De Carlo (from The Munsters) and nuns! There are even a couple of children (Eve Plumb & Angela Cartwright) and a princess (Princess Luciana Pignatelli).

When men show up they’re shadowy figures in the background or nearby, looking like they’re doing something to the woman or about to. Sean Connery in Thunderball is the only solitary shot of a man, though he’s costumed in a harness & helmet.

As an American who grew up watching TV all throughout the ’60’s & 70’s, this is a delicious slice into that period of American television, but i’m curious how someone without any familiarity to American TV from this time reacts to them. Many actresses are internationally famous (Brigitte Bardot, Anna Karina, Anouk Aimée), but an equal number are totally unknown to me. It’s interesting to realize that this person would’ve not only been shooting the pictures but also had to read the credits at the end to get the actresses’ names.

There are no conclusions i can make other than the mystery they provided me.

 

Cindy Sherman

TECHNICAL DETAILS

> Contents150 original polaroids of 8x10cm
> Size of worksFramed in 22x27cm
> ConditionTravel in 8 wooden crates of 120x40x40cm
> TransportFrom Madrid
> Rental ConditionsThe borrower will be in charge of:
- The Transport from and to Madrid
- The insurance nail to nail
- Flight and Journey of the responsible of the show from Berlin
> AvailabilityFrom June 2017

 

CATALOGUE

  • Title: Type 42: Fame Is the Name of the Game: Photographs by Anonymous
  • Version: English
  • Size: 6.9 x 0.6 x 5.6 inches
  • Number of pages: 144
  • Publisher: Walther König
  • ISBN: 978-3863356439

VENUES

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