Looking with Babette Mangolte

Feb 23, 2010

Babette Mangolte, the French-born, New York–residing artist best known to Criterion viewers for her work as cinematographer on so many of Chantal Akerman’s films (including most of the director’s influential seventies work, such as Hotel Monterey, Je tu il elle, and Jeanne Dielman), has also been an artist in her own right for decades. Her latest work, Composite for “How to Look,” will be featured in the 2010 edition of the Whitney Biennial, New York’s most heralded survey of contemporary art, which begins Thursday, February 25, and marks the event’s seventy-fifth anniversary. Made up of more than 450 photographs, the installation, a continuation of a 1978 work titled simply A Photo Installation, includes a wall of black-and-white images as well as a table stacked with photographs designed as playing cards. Every week, Mangolte will reorganize the images, making this a constantly evolving work. “What you see is not about each individual photograph,” she explains in a short profile on the Art in America website. “It’s about how photographs blend into each other.” Click here for information on the Whitney Biennial.