Sharon Lockhart, Daniel Marlos

Shirley

April 2 – 24, 1999
Santa Monica

Opening reception: April 9, 7-9pm

Blum & Poe will premiere “Shirley,” the first completed collaboration between Sharon Lockhart and Daniel Marlos, both of whom are Los Angeles based artists working in photography and film.

With the introduction of color film technology in the early 20th century, there arose the need to color balance films to a standard in both motion pictures and photography. A system was devised where a woman posed with sample color swatches and a gray scale. In still photography this woman is called "Shirley.”  The original model is rumored to have been named "Shirley", but her actual identity is now shrouded in mystery and relegated to the status of hearsay lore among lab technicians and industry insiders. Today the slang term "Shirley" is still used to refer to this printer-balancing negative, though many different models are used.

For the exhibition, Lockhart and Marlos have produced a fourteen-minute, 42 second, 16mm film and accompanying cibachrome production-still which reference the process of color balancing.  Working in reverse, the artists have made a purposefully off-color film through the use of in-camera filters. After progressing through red, green, blue, cyan, magenta and yellow, the film ends with a neutral balance.  Although "Shirley" has traditionally been a deadpan portrait, the Lockhart/Marlos collaboration takes on comic overtones through the use of a game of SCRABBLE.

Selected Works

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