Selections from the Theaters series 1970s-2000s
Gelatin silver print size variable
Some interesting background info on Sugimoto’s strategy for capturing these images:
To create each image, Sugimoto would take a long-exposure photograph of a cinema screen for the entire duration of a movie, resulting in a blank white screen. “Different movies give different brightnesses,” [Sugimoto] said. “If it’s an optimistic story, I usually end up with a bright screen; if it’s a sad story, it’s a dark screen. Occult movie? Very dark.” The project was partly the result of wanting to make a simple form visible: “The simplest forms have authority, like a blank white light. And how do you photograph that? You need a framework to make it visible. But this is not simply white light; it is the result of too much information.”
Also: there was a book made from this series, but it is very rare (edition of 4000) and therefore pretty expensive (upwards of $300). I would love to own it.
P.S. I don’t normally post photosets because each work of art that I post is so unique, and I like to give you all the opportunity to reblog the individual works that you love, without being annoyed by the presence of those you think less of, but I am making an exception in this case because I do really enjoy viewing the photos from this series all together. I hope you’ll agree.
“One night I had an idea while I was at the movies: to photograph the film itself. I tried to imagine photographing an entire feature film with my camera. I could already picture the projection screen making itself visible as a white rectangle. In my imagination, this would appear as a glowing, white rectangle; it would come forward from the projection surface and illuminate the entire theater. This idea struck me as being very interesting, mysterious, and even religious.”
Hiroshi Sugimoto (source: Cat. Thomas Kellein, Hiroshi Sugimoto, «Time Exposed,» 1995, p. 91)