Philip Guston
Evidence, 1970

Artwork Info

Artwork title
Artist name
Philip Guston
Date created
oil on canvas
75 1/4 in. × 114 1/4 in. (191.14 cm × 290.2 cm)
Date acquired
Collection SFMOMA
Gift of the artist
© The Estate of Philip Guston
Permanent URL
Artwork status
Not on view at this time.

Audio Stories

Sultan and Mandel on repurposing institutional images

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Artists Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel discuss their 1970s photo project, Evidence. 



This was the culmination of two years of research into mostly aerospace, state, federal government archives. Things you couldnt do now. Have access to millions of pictures, classified on one side, unclassified on the other. And over that period of time Mike and I through the act of selection became authors; we claimed authorship for pictures we didnt make, because we felt that we saved them from the dustpan of history. They had no longer any use, their function was once documentary, to document specific programs for industry and now they were pure connotation.  



What I connect this to is the found image and how we were trying to break out of this modernist requirement that the artist is the creator and all of that. And we were recognizing the cultural functions of photography and so we were finding these images and it didnt matter whether they were made by fire departments or jet propulsion labs, we had to go into the archives, we had to go into these you know, funny places that you cant find, but now people are delving into Flickr and into eBay and into all the places that people have uploaded all this kind of detritus of the culture and are making art out of that.  



These eight by ten glossies, they carried with it the language of the official institutions. They were hard as nails, they were simple, they were stripped down, just the facts. And of course what the facts are are crazy sometimes. Theyre really kind of loopy; they seem almost like science fiction or a world gone slightly mad.  

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Other Works by Philip Guston

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