PRINT October 1976

Mac Adams: The “Mysteries”

THE MYSTERIES OF MAC ADAMS present the narrative photo-sequence in its most succinct form, two or (less frequently) three photographs, side by side, or one above the other. For Mac Adams the reintroduction of narrative represented a reaction to the erudite austerities of Minimal and Conceptual art. He wanted his work to be more accessible, and yet it reveals its anchorage in the stringent tradition of the ’60s, partly in its formal sparseness, but also in the way his “narrative” seems not so much to tell a story as to question the possibility of a story locating itself around his photographs. A deeper sense of human values emerges obliquely in the persistent preoccupations of the questions—which eventually turn back self-referentially on the structure of the images through which they are conveyed.

In one photograph a sailor stands talking to a girl in the street; she is wearing a striped

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.