Joe

 

In July of 2003, Hiroshi Sugimoto visited the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts in St. Louis.

Eckhard Schneider, Director of the Kunsthaus Bregenz (Austria), had arranged for him

to come.

         Initially, Sugimoto intended to take photographs of the Pulitzer building, which was

designed by his fellow countryman Tadao Ando. However, he quickly focused on

Richard Serrafs Joe, a sculpture which was commissioned as part of the Pulitzer

Foundation for the Arts. The first of Serrafs torqued spirals, Joe is installed in the

courtyard.

         Like a work of architecture, this sculpture has to be experienced by walking around

and through it. The only torqued spiral that is permanently installed outdoors, Joe is

different according to the time of the day, the season, and the viewerfs position. It is in the

visitorfs memory that the sculpture gtakes shapeh in the most complete way.

         Sugimotofs photographs of Joe and the sculpture itself are quintessentially parallel

creations. Using a photographic technique involving areas of extremely soft light and

blurred darkness, he sculpted views that seem like aspects of visual memory: the arts of

photography and sculpture overlap and memories of the two-and the three-dimensional

mix.

         To further the idea of parallel creations, Sugimoto suggested for this book

commissioning a text by a novelist. Jonathan Safran Foerfs deep interest in the

juxtaposition of the visual arts and poetic language predestined him to be part of the

project. He composed a text in relation to the sculpture and the photographs without

describing or defending them.

         Takaaki Matumoto designed the book. He created the gplaceh for the appreciation of

Sugimotofs and Foerfs parallel creations. In the same way, the Pulitzer Foundation for the

Arts is a place for creation and inspires a very personal experience.

         The title of the book is Joe. The protagonist of Foerfs text is Joe. The title of the

sculpture in the courtyard of the Pulitzer is Joe. Those who knew the late Joseph Pulitzer,

Jr. may perceive Joe as a very personal homage. Those who are unaware of that

connection simply perceive the name as an unassuming title for a specific work of art. Joe

gbelongsh to those who are inspired by it.

         From May 12th until October 14th, 2006, The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts

presents nineteen of Sugimotofs photographs.

This body of work is installed in relation to the contemplative aspect of the galleries and to

Joe in the courtyard.

 

 

Matthias Waschek
Director
The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts