If you’re a Star Wars fan, have noticed the reflective stickers on your credit card, or have ever worn those weird spooky glasses with eyes on the outside, you know what a hologram is. But what about holograms as fine art?
This summer the New Museum is presenting Pictures from the Moon, a small exhibition of rarely seen holographic works by several major artists including Bruce Nauman, Louise Bourgeois, Eric Orr, Ed Ruscha and James Turrell (who had a large Large Holograms show at Pace Wildenstein in 2009, video below).
Exactly. Completely bizarro. Artists have been into holograms since 1962, when the laser technology necessary to create them was invented. At the time holographic technology was even hailed as a medium of the future for its ability to turn space inside out with its unusual spatial, volumetric and sequential qualities. Though laser beams didn’t end up replacing oil paint as a dominant medium, artists have shown consistent interest in holography across the decades. Pictures from the Moon will offer a fresh perspective on some big name artists we thought we knew.
Jenny Moore, assistant curator at the New Museum and curator of Pictures from the Moon, has been obsessed with holograms for several years, gleaning all she could of its obscure presence in art from disparate sources. Here’s what Moore has to say:
“In this current age of techno-dependency, Pictures from the Moon offers a view of the persistent attempts by artists to wrest something more from technology than what it was originally invented for. Holographic technology is an undeniably compelling medium, and holograms are such bizarrely beautiful things to look at. It’s always interesting to exhibit something a little outside of our perspective of what an artist does. Artists are always surprising us.”
Pictures from the Moon: Artists’ Holograms 1969 – 2008 will be on view from July 5 – September 30 at the New Museum. This show is happening in conjunction with a larger thematic exhibition, Ghosts in the Machine, curated by the museum’s associate director and director of exhibitions Massimiliano Gioni and curator Gary Carrion-Murayari.
- There was a Museum of Holography in Soho that unfortunately closed in 1993 due to lack of funding. Their collection now resides at the MIT Museum, which has the most comprehensive collection of holograms in the world.
- Salvador Dali made a hologram called “Alice Cooper’s Brain,” which curator Jenny Moore cites as the piece that first peaked her curiosity about holograms because “it was just so weird.”
- Take an Intro to Holography class at Holographic Studios, the only holography gallery and laser laboratory in New York City. The website may be old skool, but the place is run by Jason Sapan, one of the world’s last holographers.
- Benjamin Sutton asks if holograms are due for a comeback.