After Walker Evans
March 20, 2005 6:23 PM   Subscribe

After Walker Evans Alternatively, After Sherrie Levine. In 1936, Walker Evans famously photographed a family of sharecroppers. In 1979, Sherrie Levine rephotographed Evans' work. Performance artist Michael Mandiberg has reproduced Levine's work online, made them available for printing, and assembled texts and wrote plays to give the site's conceptual art concept - and Levine's work - meaning, and a punchline.
posted by livii (16 comments total)
Walker Evans' work has been featured on MeFi before, but not this site. When searching for doubles I found the great link to Evans' original photos: thanks to Postroad for the link.
posted by livii at 6:28 PM on March 20, 2005

Dear Sherrie--I am sure that you have donething both fetching and interesting. And indeed I have read Benjamin on reproduction. Alas, life is short and so I will stick strictly with the Evans materials in the book I own called Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. I love it and see no reason to Evans, Part II
posted by Postroad at 6:28 PM on March 20, 2005

I tell you what; those sharecroppers are convincingly skinny, yet somehow just don't look right for Ralph Lauren ads.
posted by Oyéah at 6:35 PM on March 20, 2005

posted by keswick at 6:41 PM on March 20, 2005

Aw shit, it was linked before. Sorry, the link in that thread didn't come up in any searches. :(

Though I like your predictive abilities, keswick. Nice one.
posted by livii at 6:47 PM on March 20, 2005

No worries. It wasn't a FPP, so I don't think anyone is gonna fuss too much. Besides, the subject of your FPP is much more offensive than any double post. (No offense, but Walker Evans is practically sacred to me.)

Now if I can just harness this predictive ability for good self-gain.
posted by keswick at 7:00 PM on March 20, 2005

Anyone know of any links or info to what happened to the family? Some of the kiddies might still be alive.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 7:05 PM on March 20, 2005

I seem to recall reading a feature about that family's fate, but my Google Fu fails me. Sorry.
posted by keswick at 7:23 PM on March 20, 2005

In the 1980s, Dale Maharidge and Michael Williamson interviewed and photographed the surviving members of the families - they published And their Children After Them (1989). Actually, this book tells you much more about the point of the view of the families themselves, rather than Agee's very personalised, interiorised writing - these authors also asked the families about Agee and Evans, who apparently were not very easy to deal with.
posted by jb at 8:32 PM on March 20, 2005

Meh. This is already a post about webscans of reproductions (from the exhibition catalog book) of re-photographs of photographs. Wouldn't this really only make sense as a double post? I'm just saying.
posted by .kobayashi. at 8:41 PM on March 20, 2005

A lot of conceptual art is an inside joke, and a lot of these jokes are one-liners.

That should be chiseled in stone in front of every museum of contemporary art.
posted by mrhappy at 10:21 PM on March 20, 2005

Thanks jb!
posted by uncanny hengeman at 10:33 PM on March 20, 2005

don't worry livii, thanks for the post
posted by matteo at 7:04 AM on March 21, 2005

Nicely removing Levine's project from its original audience (gallery-goers in 80's-era SoHo) does a great disservice to this woman's production.

Levine's stuff was made in a certain time , in a certain place, for a certain crowd. "Re-purposing" her work now seems silly and anti-intellectual; ugh...referencing Torres just amplifies the stupidity of this piece.

I intensely dislike this crap; this is someone's grad-school thesis, and it's awful.

Thanks, though, to the poster...good call...even though I hate hate hate it. (For those who are curious, seek out Louise Lawler's work from the same era. Greatest. Artist. Evah. (Pardon the fark-speak.)

Did I mention how much I HATE this?
posted by red cell at 8:01 AM on March 21, 2005

Much of Evan's work is already available online through the Farm Securities Administration which Evans photographed for. Many of his pictures, including those that are shown in "Let us now praise famous men" are public domain. You can even request copies of negatives, I believe. In other words, putting scanned copies of copies online is really not that big a deal.

If you like the Evans' work shown in "Let us now praise famouse men" take a look at the work of William Christenberry, who grew up in that sharecropper town to become a color photographer much indebted to Evans' style.
posted by xammerboy at 11:03 AM on March 21, 2005

I'd have posted links, but I need to run and am late.
posted by xammerboy at 11:04 AM on March 21, 2005

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