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Carrie Schneider Sphinx


  • Archive Exhibitions, Exhibition

  • On view March 11 – September 17, 2023
  • Galleries B4.2 and 5A

MASS MoCA presents a suite of new works made over the past 2½ years by artist Carrie Schneider. Reminiscent of abstract paintings, her photographs play with the camera’s imaginative potential and its relationship to the subconscious, while experimenting with the medium’s sculptural possibilities. Isolated during the pandemic, Schneider, like many of us, relied on her phone to find community and inspiration. Working with a room-sized camera she built herself – a sort of camera obscura affixed with a large-format Rodenstock lens – she exposes screen grabs of friends’ social media feeds, images from her private archive, and shots of historical artworks directly to photo paper. The enigmatic results provide glimpses into the artist’s interior life and present a picture of a deep desire for connection.

Schneider’s process requires working in the dark of night to avoid exposing the paper to sunlight, and she cuts the paper from long rolls by feel alone. The imperfect shapes and uneven edges give her images a sense of movement as well an object-ness that the artist continues to build on. Her current body of work pushes the photographs more fully into the sculptural realm. Working with rolls of paper hundreds of feet long, she takes on the scale of the museum’s architecture, letting the unwieldy lengths unfurl across and down the walls in a series of undulating folds that bring to mind intestines pouring out from a body.  These newer works focus on images from the proverbial “big screen,” which, paradoxically, can be held in the palm of one’s hand. Influenced by early feminist film theory, the culmination of the exhibition is a 16mm film crafted from still frames of Austrian actress Romy Schneider – a work the artist likens to a lost Warhol Screen Test and a deflected self-portrait.

About the Artist
Carrie Schneider (b. 1979, Chicago) is based between Hudson, New York, and New York City. She has exhibited her photographs and videos at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; the Pérez Art Museum Miami; The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; The Art Institute of Chicago; and The Kitchen, New York; Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen; The Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki; Galería Sendros, Buenos Aires; santralistanbul, Istanbul; and Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago. Her work has been reviewed in The New York Times, ArtForum, VICE, Modern Painters, and The New Yorker. She received a Creative Capital Award and a Fulbright Fellowship, and attended the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Independent Study Program and the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture. Her work is in numerous public collections including The Art Institute of Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; Haggerty Museum of Art, Milwaukee; Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal; Art in Embassies, Mbabane, Swaziland; University Galleries, Illinois State University; and DePaul University Public Collection, Chicago. She received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh. 

You can download a PDF of the exhibition guide here.

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Carrie Schneider
Dominant Eye, 2021
Unique chromogenic print made in camera
Image: approx. 25 x 20 inches (63.5 x 50.8 cm)
Framed: 29 1/2 x 24 inches (74.9 x 61 cm)
Collection of Charline von Heyl