vrijdag 13 april 2018

Views & Reviews Reservations DIANE KEATON'S PHOTOGRAPHIC PASSION Photography

Reservations: Photographs By Diane Keaton
Forty-four full-page black and white photographs of hotel interiors.
Static rooms and unembellished imagery taken inside various hotel lobbies in the U.S. that photographer and notable actress, Diane Keaton, has visited over the course of career in the 1970s. The imagery is taken with a Rolleiflex and was originally published in the 1980s.
Alfred Knopf (1980), Editie: 1st ISBN: 9780394738420


MAY 2008

On Monday night, the worlds of media, fashion, and photography packed Chelsea Pier 60 for the International Center of Photography's annual Infinity Awards dinner. The awards, which honor unique contributions to the field, were presented to several artists, but only one of them is an Oscar-winning actress.

Diane Keaton's entrance was unobtrusive. She's never played "the star." Up close, she still resembles the camera-toting Annie Hall, the role that won her an Academy Award back in 1978. Looking radiant in a black-and-white polka-dot skirt and a crisp white blouse, her blue eyes sparkling, her fluttery hand waving, she chatted with Calvin Klein, Blythe Danner, and Salman Rushdie before greeting her longtime collaborator, archivist and writer Marvin Heifermann. He's worked with her on most of her photographic projects.Keaton has always been passionate about photography. As a kid, she snapped endless pictures of friends and family members "to document my memories," she said. By the late 1970s, she was photograhing the interiors of old hotels in California for Rolling Stone (she's fascinated by archtecture, too). The resulting images formed the basis of her first book, Reservations, published in 1980. Since then she has curated exhibits for artist friends while amassing a vast personal collection of vintage photographs. These are invariably shots of lost faces and places—images that might have been ignored or destroyed if she hadn't saved them. To date she has written five more books, among them Still Life (1940s Hollywod stills) and Local News (tabloid images). Her latest book, Bill Wood's Business, coincides with a new exhibit she curated with Heifermann. Also called Bill Wood's Business, it opens today at I.C.P. and will run through September.

Bill Wood was a commercial photographer based in Fort Worth, Texas, whose wild variety of subjects reflected the way life was lived in a post–World War ll American city that was bursting to transform itself.

Before sitting down to dinner, Keaton and I spoke about the project and how it evolved. She said she bought the Bill Wood archive (all 20,000 negatives of it) many years ago but had been so busy raising her children, Duke and Dexter, that she didn't get around to printing the contact sheets for close to a decade.

When she did, she told me, "I didn't know what to make of them. Parking lots, department stores, malls, office parties, skyscrapers being built, weddings, funerals." Taken together, they captured the "all too human family of man."

Eventually, Keaton began working on the contact sheets with Heifermann, who helped her shape the exhibit into a cohesive form.

In her speech at the dinner, Keaton gave credit to her mother, Dorothy Hall, "housewife, artist, amateur photographer, for encouragingme to appreciate the visual. She encouraged me to save pictures. Don't forget,' she'd say. Photographs have such an impact—more than words. They are so visceral and intense.'"

As Keaton spoke, huge black-and-white images from the Bill Wood show flashed behind her on the screen: a senior citizens' home, a beauty pagaent, a smiling bride, groups of business men grinning uncomfortably in an office.

In closing, Keaton thanked the I.C.P. for her award and for the Bill Wood show. "It's one of my joys in life to see Mom's undefined longing to collect and save become a reality," she said. "So much is forgotten and destroyed in our culture. We all long to be remembered."

Keaton’s Own Lens
Larry McMurtry and Janet Malcolm DECEMBER 6, 2007 ISSUE
In response to:
Diane Keaton on Photography from the November 8, 2007 issue

To the Editors:

Larry McMurtry’s appreciation of Diane Keaton’s work as the curator and editor of various arcane collections of photographs [NYR, November 8] has the mysterious quality often found in writings about friends. The unsaid hovers over the said, and colors the prose with a kind of eerie glow. But McMurtry carries discretion too far when he fails to mention that Keaton is herself a formidable photographer. The mordant melancholy of Reservations, Keaton’s 1980 book of black-and-white photographs taken in hotel lobbies and banquet rooms, established her place in contemporary photography. Surely these photographs—rather than the collections of which McMurtry writes—form the pendant to Keaton’s wonderful acting career.

Janet Malcolm

New York City

Larry McMurtry replies:
Thanks to Janet Malcolm for calling attention to Reservations, Diane Keaton’s haunting book of photographs. I greatly admire Reservations too and own a photograph or two from this period of Diane’s work. I also own one from her taxidermy period, which has yet to result in a book.

Since Janet Malcolm is about the only person I know of to mention Reservations since 1980 I doubt that that work, singular though it is, established Diane Keaton’s place in contemporary photography. Whatever the case, perhaps she’ll be inclined to pick up her camera again and give us another original collection. Part of her distinction, both as photographer and as curator, is the originality of her projects.

One could argue that Diane’s long involvement with photography has produced variations on the nature of emptiness. My aim in the piece I wrote was mainly to quote her all-but-unknown writings about photography, many of which discuss people who suffer that emptiness.

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