In 2011, Google launched Art Project in order to provide comprehensive, virtual tours of the spaces and artifacts of the world’s art museums and galleries. This requires Google’s robotic camera trolleys to roam museums taking 360 degree panoramic shots of every room they’re documenting. Since May, Barcelona-based artist Mario Santamaría has been collecting striking images of these cameras’ mirror selfies via a Tumblr page. In some of the images, the cameras don silvery-white blankets – this effect, combined with our culture’s immersion in selfies, renders these cameras almost familiar and comfortable, but startling in its reflection of itself and selfie culture. These museums and galleries are, for the most part, emptied of people, the camera eerily alone in its self-documentation. (via booooooom)
Australian photographer Greg Briggs‘ new photoseries Melbourne Cleaners highlights the often nameless faces that clean and restore the seemingly untouched galleries, theaters and museums. By focusing on the people who keep these spaces pristine, Briggs not only acknowledges the work of these people, but also takes the viewer behind the scenes to an even more quite, contemplative place, rarely seen by most museum-goers.
Taking place via a virtual tour of important architecture and places throughout Melbourne, Australia, Briggs’ photoseries was captured over six months. Capturing these workers who generally work alone, they are seemingly oblivious to the camera, and are caught in intensely private moments alone with their work. One cannot help but notice how these abandoned, quiet, spaces might be a better way to actually appreciate all the works of art we often walk right by during busy open hours.
Katie Hosmer at My Modern Met writes, “The artist captures what seem like voyeuristic moments as cleaners go about their work in some of the city’s important and iconic buildings including St Paul’s Cathedral and The Queens Hall, Parliament House. Surrounded by classic architecture andfamous artwork, each individual concentrates on the task at hand and seems completely unaware of the camera’s presence. Viewers can almost hear the low hum of polishing machines, the soft whoosh of feathers dusting across the nooks of a picture frame, and the splatter of bottle spraying cleaner along the surface of glass.” (via mymodernmet)
For his series “Normal Town/Normal View” Michael ten Pas composed photographs with the seemingly mundane objects in what we tend to think of as equally mundane towns, but through his juxtapositions and re-framings, he shows us how much there is to look at in what we overlook. It’s easy to forget that we all effectively live in a museum if we choose to see it that way. Michael breaks it down in his series statement:
“Nothing is boring. I find myself perplexed, curious, and amazed when I look at my everyday surroundings – the things that are allegedly normal or status quo. This is what ought to happen because the everyday is not predictable, though it is made out to be. The world reveals irony and absurdity; it contains mystery and humor and is full of ambiguity and illusion.”
Commercial photographer Andy Freeberg deals mostly in, well, commercial work, but recently has been exploring fine art photography as well. In his series “Guardians” we get a look at the female guards who watch over the art museums of Russia. Freeberg says, “When you look at the paintings and sculptures, the presence of the women becomes an inherent part of viewing the artwork itself. I found the guards as intriguing to observe as the pieces they watch over.” Indeed, the contrast between these women and the work they’re sitting next to can be quite captivating.