Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Perpetual Photo, #209 B

Allan McCollum (American, born Los Angeles, California, 1944)
Gelatin silver print
Frame: 45 × 52 in. (114.3 × 132.1 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 1992
Accession Number:
Rights and Reproduction:
© Allan McCollum
Not on view
Amused by the pictures providing the requisite "color" for interiors in soap operas, situation comedies, and the like, McCollum captured them by photographing his television screen. A few years later, he enlarged fragments of the pictures that had decorated the "rooms." In the unique pictures that resulted, the subjects are often indecipherable, but the dreamy floating forms are far more powerful, mysterious, and timeless than their more legible antecedents. As the artist provided the negative with each unique print, the work of art can be reproduced if lost or damaged in the future, thus underlining its permanence and the relative vapidity and evanescence of its origins.
Allan McCollum; [John Weber Gallery, New York]

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Modern Photographs from the Collection XII".

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Photography on Photography, from the 1960s to the Present," April 8, 2008–October 19, 2008.

Accompanied by a gelatin silver print of the complete television frame from which the enlarged fragment originated.
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