When I first heard about Michael Wesely‘s project to photograph the entire construction of the Museum of Modern Art as single three year exposures I was amazed and intrigued. The concept of making a three year exposure is quite bold and daring; Wesely was able to achieve spectacular results. Unfortunately, my technical curiosity on how it was accomplished was not answered. I suppose he needs to keep his secretes.
In 2001, the Museum of Modern Art under went a three year renovation and expansion; they invited German photographer Michael Wesely to bring his unique vision to this significant change. Wesely setup his custom made cameras in four locations around the museum construction site. Unfortunately, he had some issues and had to take a few cameras down prior to their finish; as his images show with the passage of time, things change.
I saw the Open Shutter exhibit at the MoMA, the exhibit was three wall sized photographs each showing an amazing detail and the intricacy of change. The photos contain the ghosts of the buildings as it is constructed; streaks of the sun throughout the sky; and hundreds of little nicks, trails and instances that elude to something happening during the long exposure. The surrounding buildings stand solid and unchanged, a constant presence in the otherwise changing environment.
I look forward to seeing more of Michael Wesely’s work in the future. He talks of ten, twenty and even forty year exposures; definitely bold and daring.
Official site: www.wesely.org