Vera Lutter

Gagosian Gallery

Viewfinders are not just standard features of your average camera but devices that affect visual understanding way beyond the photographic realm. (How many younger Western artists can have escaped the “cut a hole in a cardboard sheet and use it to compose a picture” routine in their early training?) Conventional “viewfinding” assumes a portable apparatus and a mobile viewer, scanning the environment and cropping it into manageable chunks. Vera Lutter’s “cameras” refuse these behaviors. Pinhole cameras writ large, they have no viewfinder and are either immovable or far too heavy for a human to lift: Sometimes they’re engineered from blacked-out rooms, or (more often) from shipping containers, which Lutter usually inhabits during the hours, days, or even weeks it can take to expose her large-scale images. They’re the antithesis of the snapshot and repay the intricate, interpretive scrutiny

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 get 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.