Jim Goldberg – Open See

Jim Goldberg – Open See at www.opensee.org

Thoughts on the means of presentation and site design; how this functions as a gallery space.

I found this rather puzzling, in that some areas are very involving and memorable, but others seem rather ephemeral. There is rather an unfinished feel to the whole site, and a distinct lack of any context means if one didn’t know about it already, the purpose might be a bit unclear. Only a bit unclear though – there is enough in the images here to make it plain just what the intentions is.

The section – labelled Wilhelm-Hack-Museum – of the composite images, photographs with y to additional drawing and writing, is clear to see and easy to follow. The use of slideshow as a means of presentation means one doesn’t have to do anything to progress through the images, but at the same time one has no control. Going back is not an option. Having said that, in the context of the project purpose a lack of control is perhaps the intention, and is useful as a reminder of the very limited choices of the people depicted.  

Likewise the slow panning display of proof images – labelled OPEN SEE/PROOF – also limits the viewer’s options in how to see the work. I personally would have liked to be able to focus in on individual images in this piece, rather than only being able to see them in conjunction with their neighbours. If this is Goldberg’s intention, that he only wants the images to be seen in this context, it is hard to see quite why.

There are two videos of paper folding, both of which seem extremely inconsequential compared with the rest of the site. I found myself wondering quite why these were there.

It seems to me that there is a need for an introduction area, somewhere that gives more contextual background to the site.  An interview with Jim Goldberg at https://www.magnumphotos.com/newsroom/conflict/jim-goldberg-open-see/ does fill in the blanks here but at least some of this information might be better paced on opensee.org  

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