Zapraszamy na angielskojęzyczny wykład dr Andrew Witta (Terra Foundation for American Art Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin).
This paper focuses on the photographic work of Maya Deren and Alexander Hammid, two artists who moved to Los Angeles during the outbreak of the Second World War. Although Deren and Hammid occupy an important place in the history of avant-garde film, noted for their collaboration, 'Meshes of the Afternoon' (1943), their photographic work appears as a blind spot in the history of art and photography.
Three interrelated projects stand out during their short collaborative encounter: 'Experimental Portraits' (1942), a series of erotic portraits taken on the beaches and interiors of greater Los Angeles;
'L.A. Reportage' (1942), a collection of street photographs shot throughout the city's downtown core; and 'Fruit Pickers' (1942), a series of photographs of itinerate Latino farmworkers pictured inside and outside the vast fruit packing sheds of the city. In order to provide shape and context to their work, the writing of other European artists and intellectuals who were exiled in Los Angeles will be addressed. This loose community of figures includes Bertolt Brecht, Theodor Adorno, and Galka E. Scheyer. The paper is motivated by the belief that avant-garde activity encountered in Los Angeles, proposes a new problematic to think through the formation of avant-garde photography, community and migration in
the history of American art.