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Framing Time and Place

Idris Khan, British, born 1978, Houses of Parliament, London, 2012, digital silver bromide print, 76.2 × 101.6 cm (30 × 40 in.), © Idris Khan, 2012.30.1

Commissioned by the New York Times Magazine to celebrate the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, Khan created this layered  depiction of the Houses of Parliament by digitally combining dozens of postcards and stock photographs of the landmark. Deliberately  choosing views from varying perspectives, he eliminated distracting elements to render the essence of the iconic stone architecture, transforming it into a less recognizable, diaphanous version of itself. Weaving together clichéd, static pictures, he created an expressive, shimmering photograph.  

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Mark Ruwedel, American, born 1954, Westward the Course of Empire, 1994–2007, 12 gelatin silver prints, © Mark Ruwedel, courtesy of Gallery Luisotti, Santa Monica

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Mark Ruwedel, Carson and Colorado #6 from Westward the Course of Empire, 1997, gelatin silver print, 19 × 24.1 cm (7 ½ × 9 ½ in.), Gift of Dan and Jeanne Fauci, © Mark Ruwedel, courtesy of Gallery Luisotti, Santa Monica, 2012.112.1

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Mark Ruwedel, Utah Southern Extension #4 from Westward the Course of Empire, 2001, gelatin silver print, 18.8 × 24.4 cm (7 3/8 × 9 5/8 in.), © Mark Ruwedel, courtesy of Gallery Luisotti, Santa Monica, 2012.47.12

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Mark Ruwedel, Tecopa #1 from Westward the Course of Empire, 1996, gelatin silver print, 18.8 × 24.2 cm (7 3/8 × 9 ½ in.), Gift of Peter T. Barbur, © Mark Ruwedel, courtesy of Gallery Luisotti, Santa Monica, 2012.103.1

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Mark Ruwedel, Death Valley #1 from Westward the Course of Empire, 1995, gelatin silver print, 19 × 24.4 cm (7 ½ × 9 5/8 in.), © Mark Ruwedel, courtesy of Gallery Luisotti, Santa Monica, 2012.47.7

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Mark Ruwedel, Union Pacific #20 from Westward the Course of Empire, 1996, gelatin silver print, 19.3 × 24.1 cm (7 5/8 × 9 ½ in.), Gift of Gregory and Aline Gooding, © Mark Ruwedel, courtesy of Gallery Luisotti, Santa Monica, 2012.104.1

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Mark Ruwedel, Canadian Pacific #3 from Westward the Course of Empire, 2000, gelatin silver print, 19.4 × 24.1 cm (7 5/8 × 9 ½ in.), © Mark Ruwedel, courtesy of Gallery Luisotti, Santa Monica, 2012.47.6

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Mark Ruwedel, Oregon California and Eastern #1 from Westward the Course of Empire, 1998, gelatin silver print, 18.8 × 24.1 cm (7 3/8 × 9 ½ in.), © Mark Ruwedel, courtesy of Gallery Luisotti, Santa Monica, 2012.47.10

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Mark Ruwedel, Central Pacific #18 from Westward the Course of Empire, 1999, gelatin silver print, 18.9 × 24.2 cm (7 7/16 × 9 ½ in.), Gift of Peter T. Barbur, © Mark Ruwedel, courtesy of Gallery Luisotti, Santa Monica, 2012.103.2

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Mark Ruwedel, Nevada Central #4 from Westward the Course of Empire, 1999, gelatin silver print, 19 × 24.4 cm (7 ½ × 9 5/8 in.), © Mark Ruwedel, courtesy of Gallery Luisotti, Santa Monica, 2012.47.9

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Mark Ruwedel, Mohave and Milltown #3 from Westward the Course of Empire, 2004, gelatin silver print, 19 × 24.2 cm (7 ½ × 9 ½ in.), © Mark Ruwedel, courtesy of Gallery Luisotti, Santa Monica, 2012.47.8

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Mark Ruwedel, Nevada Short Line #1 from Westward the Course of Empire, 1998, gelatin silver print, 19.1 × 24.3 cm (7 ½ × 9 9/16 in.), Gift of Dan and Jeanne Fauci, © Mark Ruwedel, courtesy of Gallery Luisotti, Santa Monica, 2012.112.2

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Mark Ruwedel, Silver Peak #1 from Westward the Course of Empire, 1999, gelatin silver print, 18.8 × 24.1 cm (7 3/8 × 9 ½ in.), © Mark Ruwedel, courtesy of Gallery Luisotti, Santa Monica, 2012.47.11

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Andrew Moore, American, born 1957, Palace Theater, Gary, Indiana, 2008, inkjet print, 91.44 × 115.57 cm (36 × 45 ½ in.), 2014.32.2

Moore photographs places that have undergone accelerated cycles of growth and decay, due to political, economic, or social upheaval. Palace Theater, Gary, Indiana documents the wreckage of a 1925 art deco theater that closed some five decades later as the city faced an economic downturn and increased crime. The photograph contrasts the theater’s ornate promises of fantasy and escape with its harsh financial realities. 

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Andrew Moore, American, born 1957, Model T Headquarters, Highland Park, Michigan, 2009, inkjet print, 91.44 × 115.57 cm (36 × 45 ½ in.), 2014.32.1

Model T Headquarters, Highland Park, Michigan shows an abandoned executive suite at the Ford Company’s Highland Park plant, which closed in the mid-1970s after operations shifted to other sites. Against a backdrop of dated and dingy wood paneling, the original flooring has been supplanted by a carpet of green moss, its emerald hue providing unexpected beauty in the midst of decay.  

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Mikhael Subotzky, South African, born 1981, Patrick Waterhouse, British, born 1981, Doors, Ponte City, Johannesburg, 2008–2010, light box with color transparency, 388 × 128.4 × 15.24 cm (152 ¾ × 50 ½ × 6 in.)

Ponte City, a soaring, cylindrical apartment building in Johannesburg, South Africa, completed in 1975, was initially marketed to whites only. With the dismantling of apartheid in the early 1990s and the flight of whites to the suburbs, Ponte City fell into disrepair, becoming an emblem of urban decay. In 2008 Subotzky and Waterhouse began to document the site, photographing its apartments, the occupants, and their televisions. They then created large color transparencies with rows of pictures to mimic the height and layout of the building, sequencing the photographs apartment by apartment, floor by floor. The cascade of pictures presents the building, as the artists have asserted, as “a place of dust and dreams, befitting the land on which it sits.” 

View an image of the building:
Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse, Blue Ponte/Red Ponte VI, 2011, inkjet print on semi-matte paper, Courtesy Goodman Gallery

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Detail from Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse, Doors, Ponte City, Johannesburg, 2008–2010, light box with color transparency

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Mikhael Subotzky, South African, born 1981, Patrick Waterhouse, British, born 1981, Televisions, Ponte City, Johannesburg, 2008–2010, light box with color transparency, 388 × 128.4 × 15.24 cm (152 ¾ × 50 ½ × 6 in.)

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Detail from Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse, Televisions, Ponte City, Johannesburg, 2008–2010, light box with color transparency

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