14
Dec
11

Lynne Cohen : ‘Interior Spaces’ (Photography)

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Cohen is known for her photographs of domestic and institutional interior spaces, which have included living rooms, public halls, retirement homes, laboratories, offices, showrooms, shooting ranges, factories, spas, and military installations. Despite this interest in living and working spaces, Cohen’s photographs are usually devoid of human presence. She photographs using an 8 x 10″ view camera.

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‘SPA’
Lynne Cohen
Photograph
1993
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‘Untitled’
Lynne Cohen
Photograph
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‘SPA’
Lynne Cohen
Photograph
1993
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‘Classroom, Police School’
Lynne Cohen
Photograph
1985
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‘Classroom, Flying School’
Lynne Cohen
Photograph
1980
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‘Military installation’
Lynne Cohen
Photograph
1994
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‘SPA’
Lynne Cohen
Photograph
1994
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Since the early 1970s, Cohen has lived and worked in no fewer than nine countries, photographing unpopulated interiors in public and private establishments such as schools, spas, and laboratories. Her practice has been informed by her nomadic lifestyle. Her mostly black-and-white images may seem to be documentations of specific awkward and cold, yet alluring, spaces. But are they? Cohen’s already complex imagery of the social fabric of contemporary cities is further complicated by her decision not to provide her viewers with information about where they were shot. Viewers are therefore faced with a panoply of found interiors that are as many testimonials to cultural and social environments situated throughout the Western world; none of them, however, can be attached to a specific culture.

The environments depicted warrant a questioning of the spaces that we inhabit. This interrogation shifts the discourse from one of tension between Self and Other to one of internal instability, which encourages a non-oppositional conception of cultural entities. The entirety of Cohen’s oeuvre consists of interior spaces, both private and public. They are shot with an 8 x 10 inch camera, which enables her to produce incredibly detailed and sharp images. The large format of her works and the unobstructed foreground seem to allow the viewers to step into the picture if they so desired. This is real space.

[Extract : (Un)framing Interior Views]

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Lynne Cohen : Website

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