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andrea geyer

Timefold (from the notebooks of Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney), 2015. digital c-prints, 20 x 15 inches.

Each of the photographs in Geyer's Timefold (from the notebooks of Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney) centers on the gutter of an open notebook from which pages have been ripped out or on which shadows left from once tucked-in items are discernible. The books once belonged to artist, collector, and aspiring writer Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, as is made clear in the series' title. Whitney was also the founder of the Whitney Studio Club, which in 1931 became the Whitney Museum of American Art. It was Whitney's belief that art and culture were the mode through which America should build its national identity. She is thus a key protagonist in the production of American art's grand narrative. Flora Miller Biddle, Whitney's granddaughter, introduced Geyer to the private notebooks during Geyer's research for the performance Time Tenderness. Wondering who might have removed their pages and why, Geyer photographed their bindings systematically using tight framing, strict composition, and even lighting to materialize the traces of silence in the midst of her research. It is clear in one image that pages were cut with a blade; their remaining slivers of paper include traces of handwriting. Another image requires close inspection for the viewer to discern that pages were carefully torn out by hand. With one exception, flanking pages are blank and show a yellow hue as a sign of their age.

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