DAILY PIC: On the first preview day of the Basel art fair, in Switzerland, VIPs (and press) got to take in the 1,000 polaroids that Philip-Lorca diCorcia is presenting in the fair’s Art Unlimited section, reserved for major installations. You don’t know what that number really means until youfollow the row of shots snaking around – and around – the white walls of the space that dealer David Zwirner has snagged for them. At first, I was worried that the project could read as a kind of fetishizing of a great and bestselling photographer – as though every image that came from his eye was a guaranteed masterpiece. (And, being Polaroids, each image is unique and so even closer to a sellable fetish object.) But then, spending longer with the pile, I realized what a bizarre accumulation of pictures it is, running from the great to the banal to the bad – from family snapshots of diCorcia’s childhood to his trademark street scenes to one image that looks like an ad for a butcher. The obvious comparison is to Gerhard Richter’s huge accumulation of found photos in his famous “Atlas,” but this turns out to be rather different: It isn’t so much about cataloging the world, as cataloging one life in imagemaking. (Photo by Lucy Hogg)
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