Spotlight on Intersections@5: Vesna Pavlovic

The Phillips celebrates the fifth anniversary of its Intersections contemporary art series with Intersections@5, an exhibition comprising work by 20 of the participating artists. In this blog series, each artist writes about his or her work on view.

Pavlovic_Untitled Swiss

Vesna Pavlovic, Untitled (Swiss Peasant art exhibition, 1957.4), 2014. Archival pigment print, 40 x 50 in. Gift of the artist, 2014. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC

While exploring The Phillips Collection’s archive, I came across a group of black and white photographs and negatives taken in 1960s. These included images of an exhibition of Giacometti’s sculptural works, Mark Tobey’s paintings, and images of the former Annex façade, among others. The materiality of these large format negatives and their inevitable photographic obsolescence became the starting point of my exploration. I overlaid found analog negatives and scanned them digitally to create new photographs. Physically bringing layers of images together turned negatives opaque and ghostly looking. The study of the archive exposed the sensibility of the collection and aesthetic choices of image and text display in the museum. For me, this was an opportunity to examine photographic representation of specific political and cultural histories of the America’s first museum of modern art.

Vesna Pavlović

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