New York

Barbara Bloom, Japanese Garden, 1998, color photograph and mat board, 20 1/2 x 24 1/2".

New York

Barbara Bloom

International Center of Photography Museum (ICP)
250 Bowery
January 18–May 4, 2008

Curated by Brian Wallis

Though organized by ICP exhibitions director Brian Wallis, “The Collections of Barbara Bloom” sounds less like an exhibition than like an artwork sui generis—an artist's reimagining of her own history. Or, to put it as Bloom does, “It's in between a midcareer retrospective and an estate sale.” Some years back Bloom had a near-fatal accident that caused her to closely reexamine her stuff—the objects, both made and found, that make up her faintly eerie fusion of Conceptual art and informed connoisseurship. She is now readdressing those objects, reconfiguring a comprehensive selection of works from the early 1980s to the present, according to themes that fascinate her: twins and doppelgängers, blushing, naming, innuendo, things broken, and more. The project seems retrospective in the most final sense: “It's an odd job,” says Bloom, “to write your own epitaphs.”