Thursday, June 15, 2006

New York Public Library Photo Exhibit

Saw this photo at the New York Public Library last weekend. It's by Garry Winogrand and it was taken at the Central Park Zoo in 1967. I have no idea what it means or who the people are and I can't find any explanations. On the one hand, the chimps are dressed up like kids, which is hilarious. On the other hand, the people look so serious and well-dressed. Weird. The Winogrand photos were with a group of Diane Arbus photos, all part of a recent acquisition. [photo from Masters of]


Anonymous Sarah said...

It looks racist to me. An interracial couple had kids and they turned out to be chimps.

12:55 PM  
Blogger The Masticator said...

Really? I think that's too simple. And I think it's our discomfort with and fear of racism itself that brings you to that conclusion.

And what's actually racist here? Not the photograph -- an image doesn't have an agenda. The photographer? Did someone -- the photographer or another -- pose the couple at the zoo with chimps dressed like kids because that someone wanted to make a racist statement?

I think its subversive and weird. Inscrutably weird. I like how uncomfortable it makes me, and how it challenges me to explain it. I'm at a loss.

7:08 PM  

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