EMMA’s Curator Arja Miller in discussion with Michael Jackson: On the Wall exhibition artists Graham Dolphin and Todd Gray. Susan Smith-Pinelo’s attendance is unfortunately cancelled due to medical reasons. The discussion is in english.
Todd Gray, 1954, USA
Todd Gray worked as one of Michael Jackson’s official photographers from 1979–83 and documented Jackson’s metamorphosis from a promising young solo star to a social phenomenon. Gray has revisited his photographs of Jackson and combined them with photographs taken in Ghana, West Africa, where he has a studio. Gray states: ‘Layering photos on top of each other, covering faces and problematizing the process of viewing is my way to add complexity and critique and to resist preconceived notions of black bodies. As the most recognized black body on the planet, Jackson becomes a global surrogate for the legacy of post colonialism.’
Graham Dolphin, 1972, UK
Graham Dolphin had made works based on Jackson’s albums Off the Wall and Thriller. His works are comprised of multiple copies of the vinyl album covers for each, upon which he has handwritten all the lyrics from every song Jackson ever recorded. ‘My use of records, and their covers, as a surface on which to draw, echoes that of the fan personalising their precious record collection… The handwritten words ground the work in the personal, in the handmade, and evoke notions of obsession associated with the act of the “fan”.’
Susan Smith-Pinelo’s attendance is unfortunately cancelled due to medical reasons.
EMMA Talks is an open series of lectures and talks on themes related to EMMA’s current exhibitions. The discussions look at life and society through the lens of contemporary art. Participation is free for students.