This series of images are musings on the death of “food,” a significant concern since moving to the Midwest, where I found myself in a frustrating position. My food-shopping opportunities are singular: drive to a mall to buy commodities at a large industrial retailer. Aside from Jewel Osco, there is Trader Joes and a vastly over-priced second-tier Whole Foods – variations on the theme.
These photos are my response to surreal trips down the aisles of the “jewel.” The Real and The Fake photos are classical still lives of nutritionally-empty industrial snack-foods that nevertheless have appealing Platonic forms. They are integrated with obviously simulated computer graphics of apples (I actually stole the series’ title from an exhibition about computer graphics curated by Rachel Clarke and myself, see www.real-fake.org).
In these images, the real and the fake implode. They are both so fake they are real, so real they are fake. The style is also a hybrid form, bridging between classical still-life painting – Cézanne’s apples! – and an industrial product shot. It is, “what it is.”
Photo back-plates were created in collaboration with Miao Jiaxin at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago.
Claudia Hart graduated from New York University with a BA cum laude in art history in 1978, and then studied architecture at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture. She then practiced as an art and architecture critic. In 1985-86, she was Associate Editor of ID (then Industrial Design Magazine) where, along with Senior Editor Steven Skov Holt, she redeveloped it into its present form, ID: the Magazine of International Design. Hart has published her critical writings widely, and then went to Artforum magazine where she served as Reviews Editor until 1988. She continues to write critically but in the academic context, presenting papers at the past three College Art Association conferences with a new paper, Baby doll: Boys and Their Virtual Toys, scheduled for the National Women’s Studies conference in Denver this November.
In 1988, Hart showed multi media work with the Pat Hearn Gallery in New York, moving from critical to artistic practice. At that time, she exhibited paintings and installations inspired by the visionary architecture from the French Enlightenment. After receiving an NEA Fellowship in 1989, she shifted her practice to Europe where she spent ten years and received numerous fellowships, including the Kunstfond Bonn, Stiftung Kulturfonds, the Stiftung Luftbrueckendank Grant, the Arts International Foundation Grant, the Kunstlerhaus Bethanian grant and two fellowships from the American Center in Paris. In Europe she exhibited widely with galleries and museums. Her work from this time has been collected by the Museum of Modern Art, NY; The Metropolitan Museum, NY; The MIT List Center, Cambridge; The Vera List Center for Art and Politics, New School, New York; The San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Berlin; and the Sammlung Goetz Museum, Munich.
Hart is currently an Associate Professor in the department of Film, Video, New Media and Animation at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is represented by bitforms gallery, NY. Her new works are part of The Sandor Family Collection, Chicago, the Teutloff Photo + Video Collection, Cologne, and the Borosan Collection, Istanbul, among others.