The second guest on this week’s Modern Art Notes Podcast is curator/historian Mia Fineman, who talks about her new Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition “Faking It: Manipulating Photography Before Photoshop.”
The show goes back to nearly the beginning of photography to reveal how artists have been manipulating their pictures since nearly the start of photography. (You can see a JPEG of just about every picture in the exhibition here, or you will be able to once the Met’s website is back online. In the wake of Sandy, it’s down.) The exhibition is accompanied by one of the best art history books of the season. It’s published by the Met and is distributed by the Yale University Press. It’s also almost $25 off via Amazon.
A common use of manipulated photography — almost from the start — has been propaganda such as this. Mikhail Rozulevich used over 300 pictures in the Soviet state archive to make this image, which was installed in trains throughout Leningrad.
Image: Mikhail Rozulevich, The Reality of Our Plan is Active People (detail), 1858. Collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.