Thursday, September 18, 2014

Jack Smith's Early Experiments with Color and Communality

I follow the lead of the source for these photographs and credit Mary Jordan for their being here to be seen, as these or close variations were used decisively in her very fine documentary on Jack, his life, his society, and his work.  About a week ago I was talking with three friends who knew Jack Smith, and the one who knew him best (and appeared in a fair amount of his photographs and films as model or performer) made a point of telling me that there was always a narrative behind the images that Jack constructed, that he always had a specific story to tell, even if he didn’t make it explicit in the telling.  This tallied rather well with what I’d always suspected about them, what I learned through looking, what I felt about them, or even already knew, and why it always bothered me whenever some scholar referred to Smith as a non-narrative film maker.

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