Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Mac Adams

This diptych, Port Authority (1975), is from a highly influential collection entitled Mysteries by Welsh artist/sculptor/photographer Mac Adams. As you can see there is a narrative dimension to the pictures which is essentially noir in tone. A woman in a dress is offered a cigarette from an unidentified male who is wearing a distinctive wristband and ring. You then see a man wearing the same wristband and ring stuffing a dress into a bag. The dress is identifiably the one worn by the woman in the previous photo. Has a crime been committed? Artists such as Cindy Sherman would later adopt a similar strategy - staging photographic scenarios which invite a narrative interpretation.

Mac Adams is originally from Brynmawr and studied at Cardiff School of Art and Design. He moved to America in the late ‘60s. His best known public artworks are the Korean War Memorial in New York and a piece called Meditation which is in Strasbourg. In 1999 he was commissioned to produce some public art for Penarth. He came up with the idea of a Solar Pavilion entitled The Belvedere. The pavilion is designed so that the sun projects an inscription in Welsh, Y Tiroedd Oll Yw Fy Nghorff, on to a large footprint on the floor. It means: All Lands Are My Body. Check it out next time you are in the area.

*You can see a YouTube of Mac Adams discussing his work here.