Annie Leibovitz: In the name of life…
“Annie Leibovitz. Still life”, Hauser & Wirth, New York, online exhibition, June 2020.
American photographer Annie Leibovitz is creating a new charity edition of her latest series to support the relief efforts of COVID-19, Black Lives Matter and Equal Justice Initiative. This edition coincides with her online exhibition “Still Life”, which opened on June 8. As part of Hauser & Wirth’s “#artforbetter de Hauser & Wirth” initiative and to support the fight to dismantle systemic racism and police brutality in America, the book includes a grid of photographs taken by the photographer during the US lockdown.
The online exhibition explores the importance of a sense of belonging. It includes images from a project the artist completed before the coronavirus pandemic and recent photographs taken during the containment. Annie Leibovitz explores places inhabited by “models” who are important to her: “I have travelled alone to places that interested me”. The places remain empty, only houses, landscapes and objects that belonged to the disappeared cherished by the creator.
There are the pressed flowers of Emily Dickinson’s herbarium, the worn surface of Virginia Woolf’s desk, bird specimens preserved by Darwin, the skeleton of a rattlesnake displayed under glass on her coffee table and near O’Keeffe’s house.
Near her house she photographed the little red hill that so often appeared as a monumental symbol of the American Southwest in O’Keeffe’s paintings.
She also photographed for this project the landscapes of her home in upstate New York, where she lived in confinement. All this gives an original extension to her work. Leibovitz does not propose the theatre of the world but its double. As such she has never ceased to respond to Robert Bresson’s injunction: “Take me away from the intelligence that complicates everything“. But in fact her work remains a fantastic awakening for the mind.