25 November 2010

Muybridge at Tate Britain

Muybridge is well known for his studies of trotting horses and other animal locomotion. The exhibition also included his scenic photos of California, and the 11- and 13-plate panoramas of San Francisco in the 1870s. He also photographed in Central America, going there after being acquitted of the murder of his wife's lover.
As you entered you saw a window with a grid, like the background in Muybridge's photos. People walking out of the exhibition would be "cut up" into segments by the arrangement of mirrors - fascinating -

What especially interested me was the cable-car tracks and other markings on the streets of San Francisco in the panoramas, and the strange scale of the figures in a few of the photos. Muybridge's scenic photos definitely used skies from other negatives, but did he play around with the foregrounds as well?

An amazing amount of work - 20,000 negatives, printed first as cyanotypes and then edited and printed in the finished format.

No comments: