Vera Lutter: The Museum in her Camera Obscura

New York-based artist Vera Lutter uses the camera obscura to create photographs with an ethereal, otherworldly beauty. Before the invention of photography, it was known that if light traveled through a tiny hole into a darkened room, an image of the external world (off which the light rays had reflected) would re-form upside down on a wall opposite the tiny opening. By building room-sized cameras and placing unexposed photo paper across from a pinhole opening, Lutter has adopted the camera obscura as her singular working method.

From February 2017 to January 2019, Lutter was invited by LACMA to work in residence at the museum, creating a new body of work examining the campus architecture, galleries, and collection holdings.

This short film shares rare behind-the-scenes footage of the artist, her assistants, and the museum staff that was filmed during Lutter’s residency in Los Angeles, as well as insights from Vera Lutter and curator Jennifer King into the artistic process and the meanings they find in these dreamlike prints.

About LACMA
Located on the Pacific Rim, LACMA is the largest art museum in the western United States, with a collection of nearly 140,000 objects that illuminate 6,000 years of artistic expression across the globe. Committed to showcasing a multitude of art histories, LACMA exhibits and interprets works of art from new and unexpected points of view that are informed by the region’s rich cultural heritage and diverse population. LACMA’s spirit of experimentation is reflected in its work with artists, technologists, and thought leaders as well as in its regional, national, and global partnerships to share collections and programs, create pioneering initiatives, and engage new audiences.

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