The series Past Strangers continues to investigates Andrea Geyer’s interest in the construction of time through culture. Photographing in the Museum of Modern Art’s Painting and Sculpture Conservation Lab over the course of one year Geyer observes artworks from the museum’s impressive collections. The work while under careful consideration of contemporary notions of conservation unravel time. Historic time, material time, institutional time. The time of the artwork, the artist, the histories written and constructed around them. Geyer’s gaze opens this space to us like a landscape, created momentarily through the constellation of works, easels and tools used in the lab. Following often daylight light, we encounter the art works, liberated for a moment from the chronology of the gallery, their given place in art history, the archive and even the architecture of the museum. They lean, lay and drape like bodies, allowing us to feel their presence in an unexpected clarity. In this work Geyer points us to her understanding of artworks as documents, that in their entirety, in their material presence offer a careful observer a potential of temporalities that reaches beyond preconceived notion of history. Instead they favor a complexity of time that intricately connects the singularity of artwork and its maker(s) and the moment of its making to the collective and continually renewed experience of the same artwork within an expansive and complex social, cultural and political meaning.
view a selection of images from the series