new-york

Sam Samore

American Fine Arts

In Sam Samore’s recent work, the artist differentiates his photographs by decade only. (All of the photographs in this exhibition were entitled Photograph, 1980’s.) Samore further blurs questions of time frame and authorship by having a private detective, or a surveillance photographer,actually take pictures for him. The graininess of the images indicates the surreptitious manner in which they were taken. Each photograph concentrates our attention on a single person. These subjects are caught unaware; they know neither Samore nor the photographer. The people have been spied upon, and the viewer begins to view them as “suspicious” or “wanted,” even though the usual meaning of these terms has been rendered inoperative by the nature of the project.

Samore encourages the viewer to become aware of the way significance is constructed through representation. The viewer searches for the codes that

Sign-in to keep reading

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

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

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

Order the PRINT EDITION of the April 1989 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

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