Duane Michals Screens His First Video—at Age 83

THE DAILY PIC: The great still photographer tries moving images.

Double Talk 4 Michals

THE DAILY PIC (#1433): In the late 1960s, Duane Michals made an influential discovery: the photographic sequence, in which he’d pull a staged narrative out across a series of stills. Fifty years later, at the age of 83, he’s now made his first video—you heard it here first—which in some ways does precisely the opposite: His new medium allows him to pile his images one on top of another. (Click on my photo to watch a brief trailer; The full video is premiering Nov. 14 at the Three Rivers Film Festival in Pittsburgh, and then will be available on Vimeo.)

Michals’s new piece is called Double Talk, and it’s just a couple of minutes of the artist himself recalling his past—with a different few minutes of him recollecting double-exposed on top of the first.

Michals has always smartly objected to the idea that capturing a sitter’s surfaces can give insight into what’s going on inside. Double those surfaces, as Michals has done in his video, and you lose any sense that there’s a stable truth that you can learn about a person.

This seems particularly poignant and telling coming from a man who is coming closer than some of us to the final dissolution of his own stable self, and who, for several years now, has lived with a beloved who has been losing his self to dementia. (Copyright Duane Michals, courtesy  DC Moore Gallery, New York)

For a full survey of past Daily Pics visit blakegopnik.com/archive.

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