From September 14 – October 1, 2016, FraenkelLAB is featuring a special presentation of seven photographs of theaters by Hiroshi Sugimoto. The artist has photographed more than 100 movie houses and drive-in theaters in the past 40 years, and he recently extended the series to include Italian opera houses and abandoned theaters. This exhibition is particularly notable for the inclusion of one of Sugimoto’s marvelous new photographs of opera houses, Teatro dei Rozzi, Siena (2014).
In each theater, a film has been projected onto the stage or screen, and the exposure time of the photograph is the length of the film. In his new book Hiroshi Sugimoto: Theaters, the artist has written:
To watch a two-hour movie is simply to look at 172,800 photographic afterimages….My dream was to capture 170,000 photographs on a single frame of film. The image I had inside my brain was of a gleaming white screen inside a dark movie theater.
After developing the very first photograph in this series, Sugimoto recalls, “The image was something that neither existed in the real world nor was it anything that I had seen. So who had seen it, then? My answer: it was what the camera saw. It was the afterimage of a great accumulation of afterimages.”
The presentation at FraenkelLAB is a complement to Hiroshi Sugimoto: Remains to be Seen at Fraenkel Gallery, which marks the U.S. debut of the artist’s photographs of abandoned theaters.