Over at MoMA, there are two big survey shows that focus on a single theme throughout the history of photography from the heyday of the daguerreotype through to the present. The first, Pictures by Women: A History of Modern Photography, is an “installation that comprises more than 200 works by approximately 120 artists.” The second is an examination of photography’s relationship to sculpture titled The Original Copy: The Photography of Sculpture, 1839 to Today, that “brings together over 300 photographs, magazines, and journals, by more than 100 artists” … A good exhibition is not a numbers game. And in Pictures by Women, which is a little diffuse, it shows.
Robert Longo is the king of that detached world of 80s über-cool, though in retrospect the whole “movement” (if we can call it that) was nothing like its PR. Sure, one could be fooled into thinking that Longo’s corporate figures writhing out of control were comments on the culture of the time, perhaps even foreboding what was to come — Reaganomics, corporate avarice, an extreme form of alienation — but did we really think it would lead to advertisements for Bottega Veneta?