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Yellow Hallway #2

James Casebere ( 2001 )

  • Period Twenty-First Century
  • Materials Chromogenic print
  • Object Number 2011.012.0004
  • Dimensions 48 x 60 1/8 in.; 121.92 x 152.7175 cm
  • Credit Line Gift of the Heather and Tony Podesta Collection, Washington, DC, 2011

Since the 1980s, Casebere’s photographs have transported viewers into ambiguous, evocative, and surreal environments such as Yellow Hallway. Inspired by the neo-classical architecture in the spirit of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, the artist has “flooded” his yellow interior creating a play of reflected light and shadows across liquid floor. Devoid of either plot or characters this image of a constructed space is cinematic and poetic, implying melancholic loneliness.

Casebere’s working process often involves constructing tabletop models out of modest materials, such as Styrofoam, plaster, and cardboard. He then dramatically lights these constructions and carefully positions his camera to manipulate the composition and the mood of the resulting photograph. Devoid of human figures, the constructions invite viewers to project into and inhabit the space. In more recent years, his subject matter focused on various institutional spaces and the relationship between social control, social structure and the mythologies that surround particular institutions, as well as the broader implications of dominant systems such as commerce, labor, religion and law.