[Enlarged Movie Still with Image of Eye Closing and Opening]
Gelatin silver print
24.1 x 6.7 cm (9 1/2 x 2 5/8 in.)
Ford Motor Company Collection, Gift of Ford Motor Company and John C. Waddell, 1987
Not on view
This photograph was printed from a strip of movie film. Almost from the moment of cinema's invention by the Lumière brothers in the 1890s, artists recognized its potential to reveal startling new perceptions of the visible world. In the 1920s, film was celebrated by avant-garde artists as a means of reintroducing viewers to everyday sights already so well known that they no longer merited attention, such as blinking. The disembodied eye was a particularly useful image for artists and filmmakers associated with the international art movement called the New Vision, both because the eye symbolized pure sight and because a blink is a phenomenon that happens so quickly that the mechanical operations involved are hard to describe without the use of a camera. This effort to make viewers see anew had strong ideological connotations and was closely linked with the New Vision's leftist politics.
Inscription: Inscribed in pencil on print, verso LL: "22.214.171.124"
[Prakapas Gallery to Waddell, Aug. 4, 1981]; John C. Waddell.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 26," May 15, 2000–September 18, 2000.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 43," May 9, 2006–August 28, 2006.