Theater photographer collected the rapid moments in a film and held them still again | Arts

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In this series, Laguniappe presents different works each week from the collection of the New Orleans Museum of Art, with commentary from the curator.

Hiroshi Sugimoto started making photographs of the “Theatre” series more than 40 years ago and explored what it means to shoot the entire movie at once.

To take this picture of Cabot Street Cinema in Beverly, Massachusetts, Sugimoto placed his large format camera on a dark theater balcony and focused it on the screen. When the projectionist started the film, Sugimoto opened the camera shutter and kept it open throughout the film.

Depending on the length of the film (for example, 90 minutes to 2 hours), the more than 170,000 individual photographs that make up the film are impressed by Sugimoto’s negatives. The cumulative light reflected on the screen glows white, eerily illuminating an empty theater.

Photographers say that different types of movies emit different amounts of light during long exposures. Comedy, for example, is brighter in the theater than sad or dramatic movies.

Sugimoto began making these works in a magnificent American cinema (Cabot Cinema was also the venue for many years of magical theater), including drive-in screens, abandoned theaters, and the Italian opera house. It was expanded like this. Such works not only reflect Sugimoto’s interest in the architecture of such spaces, but also explore the relationship between photography, imagination, memory, and the passage of time.

We often think of the ability of photography to freeze time or “capture” moments, but cinema may be understood as restarting the clock or reviving our world. ..

Sugimoto’s photographs collect all the moments in the film and make them stand still, allowing you to look at the front and back of time at the same time.

Wheezy is one of the few photographers in history to be successful at the same time in both the popular news media and the art community.

In this series, Laguniappe presents different works each week from the collection of the New Orleans Museum of Art, with commentary from the curator.

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Brian Piper is a photography assistant curator at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation at the New Orleans Museum of Art.

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