This week’s Modern Art Notes Podcast spotlights conceptual photographer Robert Heinecken with Museum of Modern Art curator Eva Respini.
Heinecken was a pioneer in using media to critique media, a practice that Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have adapted for a television age. Heinecken rarely took his own photographs, instead using existing images and long-familiar photographic and printing techniques to create new semi-collages made up of multiple images. Heinecken’s work is the subject of "Robert Heinecken: Object Matter," a retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. The exhibition is in member previews, opens on Saturday, and runs through September 7.
While Heinecken is best-known for his interest in and his critiques of sex in media, he also made a substantial body of work about violence in media, and the ways in which violence and sex were (often unintentionally) juxtaposed to help sell products. Today on MANPodcast.com we’ll be spotlighting Heinecken’s violence-themed work.
This is an untitled, undated off-set lithograph Heinecken made. It features a typical example of Heinecken using one of his ‘favorite’ news images — a Cambodian soldier holding two severed heads — and presenting it in a single image with the sort of news magazine advertisement that would have ‘accompanied’ the photograph. This piece is in the collection of the Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, Ariz.
Eva Respini has organized exhibitions of Cindy Sherman and with Vik Muniz. Her many projects are chronicled at her website. She organized “Heinecken” with curatorial fellow Drew Sawyer.
On the second segment, Museum of Fine Arts Houston Anne Wilkes Tucker discusses Heinecken as a conceptualist. On the occasion of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago’s 1999 Heinecken retrospective, Tucker gave a lecture in which she posited that in the future the conceptual nature of Heinecken’s practice would be more valued and more useful to other artists than it was then. Did her prediction come true?
Tucker was most recently a guest on The MAN Podcast to discuss an MFAH exhibition she co-curated titled, “War/Photography: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath.”
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See more images of art discussed on this week’s program.
A pleasure to hear Eva Respini’s take on Heinecken. She speaks clearly and beautifully about his work. Looking forward to seeing the show.