Exhibitions: When in Australia… An American Dream…

Photographs from the George Eastman House on display down under…

“American Dreams”, Bendigo Art Gallery, through July 10

Excellent review in The Australian, June 11, 2011
“Hopes and Fears” by ChristopherAllen

A short excerpt:

“Hopes and Fears” by ChristopherAllen
“…There is a photograph by Weegee in American Dreams, at Bendigo Art Gallery, that epitomises this phenomenon. It shows several drunks asleep or slumped on a footpath in about 1940.
The one in the foreground wears a pinstriped suit; he was successful or at least respectable, it seems, moments ago and now something has gone wrong and his life has slipped into free fall. Once again it is as though his own memory and those of others concerning him have been erased and he is no one…
Poverty subsists in the shadows of that city, as we have already seen in Weegee’s picture of the drunks; another of his images shows children huddled together, sleeping on the landing of a fire escape, and a third is a brutal image of crime. Murder in Hell’s Kitchen (c. 1940) [perhaps that’s Gunman Killed by Off Duty Cop 02, 1942] shows a dead man in a dark suit, lying with his face smashed into the footpath in a pool of blood. The figure is in the upper part of the composition and the space devoted to the bare pavement – empty but for the revolver still lying there – gives the picture a quality of grim realism, sober rather than sensational…”


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