France Scully Osterman
It is likely that none of the photographs included in this exhibition were made to illustrate Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet. It can be said, though, that each of them was made to address an essential aspect of the human condition, and what is the great genius of Shakespeare’s drama if not to provide universally relevant anecdotes for every imaginable human trait? The intention of this exhibition is to somewhat playfully address the long-standing resonance between words and pictures, and to acknowledge that this synergy is capable of creating something greater than the sum of its parts.
The exhibition is assembled with the arc of the play in mind, and the photographs that are meant to evoke specific aspects of the drama—the fight scenes, the party scene, the balcony, consummation of love, the deaths of the protagonists, and their subsequent memorialization—are all chosen for their individual strength as well as their narrative capacities. The viewer is being asked to consider how photographs can have a variety of meanings, and how images and well-known narratives can achieve new resonance when presented in different contexts.
Co-curators Sasha Wolf and Peter Kayafas thank the following for contributing work to this exhibition: ClampArt Gallery, Richard Gedney, Gitterman Gallery, Howard Greenberg Gallery, Arlette and Gus Kayafas, Gallery Kayafas, Jackson Fine Art, Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University, and Yancey Richardson Gallery.