Throughout the mid to late 1970s and upwards, Hiroshi Sugimoto packed up a folding 4x5 camera & tripod, surreptitiously entered matinees (and, one can only presume, evening film events) and documented the interior of movie theatres across the United States. He would open the shutter just before the ‘first light’ hit the screen and close it after the credits finished rolling and before the house lights came on. Using this method he was able to invert the subject/object relationship of the movie theatre and use the film itself to illuminate the proscenium and interior. This content, largely unaddressed critically, is what lends the images their incredible power—along wtih the natural fascination of being made privy to the photography’s divine birthright—allowing us to see the normally invisible, to experience a finite collapse of time.
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