New York

Miranda Lichtenstein

Elizabeth Dee Gallery

From Siddhartha to John the Baptist, every culture has its spiritual seekers. In her new color photograph The Wave, 2005, Miranda Lichtenstein shows us ours: A well-groomed, thirtysomething white man, seated in a tastefully minimal office, the room’s sole adornment a Hokusai-esque print of a crashing wave by Robert Longo. Gently diffused by white aluminum blinds, light floods through the windows, evenly illuminating the clean lines of a blond wood desk, the sleek contours of an iMac, and the man himself, his eyes closed in meditation. On the desk lies a wristwatch, a reminder both of the deadline-driven world of work that he has momentarily abandoned and of the rationalizing transformation of a religious practice into means of enhanced productivity encouraged by “enlightened” employers.

In its succinct imbrication of spiritual yearning, late-capitalist work ethic, and new-age lifestyle,

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