October 06, 2012
In one of three local lectures in the same week, artist Vik Muniz spoke on October 5 at BU as part of the College of Fine Arts' Contemporary Perspectives lecture series. Over the course of two hours, Muniz talked about his career and showed work from his earliest sculptural works, up through his many series of iconic imagery reproduced in substances and materials ranging from sugar, chocolate sauce, or diamonds, to thread, nails, or garbage, which he photographs and then destroys.
Long interested in the psychology of visual perception, Muniz is fascinated by the dichotomy between what we see and what's really there, and believes that with the ubiquity of both cameras and photo manipulation tools, photography has begun to lose its importance as a documentary medium. Citing Picasso's famous comment on photography's impact on painting -- "now at least we know everything that painting isn't" -- Muniz suggests it's time we started to ask what photography is and isn't. He also stressed the importance of teaching visual literacy at every level in schools.
Muniz just wrapped up a residency at MIT, where he collaborated on developing "a process to machine microscopic images onto millimeter-wide grains of sand, which later become large, high-resolution prints." He didn't go into much detail at the BU talk, but did mention sand castles and camera lucida, so the end result of the work sounds sure to be signature Muniz.
Video of full lecture will be made available at BUniverse