Monday, October 24, 2011

Kitchen changes

First I have to explain a 2008 installation piece by Zoe Leonard. (Detail pictured below.)
The Leonard work consists of thousands of vintage postcards depicting Niagara Falls, arranged in several groupings of cards that are printed with exactly the same image. The identical picture is repeated, over and over again, but with the subtle gradations of tone as a major subject: the ink is sometimes yellowed, due to age and wear and tear, or due to press differences. Now I know who was bidding against me on postcards of Niagara, a place I visited to make pictures a few years ago. I learned that the Falls are a man-made tourist destination, not really a true "natural wonder" at all anymore, due to our efforts in harnessing of the water's power for electricity. The Falls get turned "off" over the winter, and we were there when the flip got switched to get it flowing again, just in time for the thaw and upcoming tourist season. Read more about the manufactured sublime in Ginger Strand's book, "Inventing Niagara," and see some of her own postcard collection here: http://www.gingerstrand.com/niagara_lost.htm Leonard's work explores the idea of mass-market tourism and the shaping of a location for that purpose and the idea of the souvenir and the photographic landscape tradition. Her postcards span the half-century from 1900-1950, and, according to the exhibition's curator: "... there is little evidence in Leonard’s ensemble of the far-reaching physical changes that the site underwent during this same period: inter alia, the amount of water flowing over the falls was reduced and regulated daily; certain outcroppings of rock, deemed dangerous, were blasted away; and erosion radically redrew the profile of the Horseshoe Falls. While the icon requires constancy to maintain its status as icon, the suppression in these reproductions of the site’s physical permutations contributes to the elision of the icon into cliché."


So in an attempt to re-decorate the kitchen wall, Allen and I started our own installation of vintage architectural postcards. Nothing theoretical here - we just like the look of them.


But on Sunday we purchased this amazing vintage yellow table and chairs for the kitchen - Now I am thinking about a wall paper I purchased on sale at Anthropologie for the wall. I hung the roll up and photoshopped the rest of the wall in...
I think I love it, but I am nervous that my family will not. I will update after everyone returns home.


1 comment:

Roseanna said...

Nancy, Love the postcard idea...fabulous wallpaper. If I can find them, (ha,ha) I have a couple of postcards for you. I think they are Eastman Kodak and Ben Franklin high school in their heyday. We must get together soon.