What do Ritter Sport chocolate bars have in common with a woman wearing a lemon yellow towel wrapped around her head? When photographed by Christopher Williams, they are both completely absent of personality; 100 percent product. In “The Production Line of Happiness,” the MoMa displays the first retrospective of the conceptual artist’s “sociophotographic” work. It explores photography’s role in perpetuating consumerism by using the same aggressive retouching techniques used by advertisers. Paying homage to the influence of cinema in his work, Williams names the exhibition, which includes an experimental film program, after the Jean-Luc Godard documentary about a film-loving factory worker. The exhibition features Williams’ rarely seen Super 8 shorts and vinyl super-graphics, but it focuses largely on the crisp images of obsolete cameras, Williams-Sonoma-esque crockery, and other objects that have come to define his three decades of work, not to mention our capitalist sensibilities.
Mondays-Sundays, 10:30 a.m. Starts: July 27. Continues through Nov. 2, 2014
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 30, 2014