PDN Photo of the Day

Hastings Park, 16 July 1955 (2008)

Hastings Park, 16 July 1955 (2008)


© Stan Douglas. Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner Gallery, New York

A large-scale print of this photo appears in the show “Dress Codes: The Third ICP Triennial of Photography and Video.” The show, featuring over 100 recent works by 34 artists from 18 countries, is on view through January 17, 2010 at the International Center of Photography, 1133 Avenue of the Americas at 43rd St., New York, NY.

“Hastings Park, 16 July 1955 (2008)” is from Stan Douglas’s project “Humor, Irony, and the Law,” in which the artist re-stages historic moments of unrest in his native Vancouver. This particular image recreates a scene at a Vancouver horse track in 1955 using models dressed in period clothing selected to match the look of color film at that time. The models were photographed between takes while they were off guard. This image is composed of 30 separate shots.

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  1. LMAO, this is supposed to be a re-staging of a “historic” moment, yet it is a composite of 30 different photos? What irony!

  2. I am so happy to have found such a high resolution reproduction of this amazing photograph, which I have been wondering about for a year or two, whenever it first appeared in an Artforum ad.  Now that I know almost all the secrets about it however, (except what happened that day at the race track), I also am not so sure I like it that much…anymore.  What it ends up being about is a glorious collection of clothing that has gone with the wind and the diverse personalities that in habited them during one strange shoot a few years ago…plus the wonder and perfection of candid photography.  But thats it…it re-captures nothing.  

    The photos these kinds of pictures BEG to have made are contemporary candid versions of actual (similar) subject matter.  The artist I know who’s come closest is Phillip Lorca Dicorcia with his magnificent “Heads” series.   The thing that was so mystifying to me about this picture was the cast didn’t seem like it could possibly be contemporary.  I couldn’t believe that someone could find a present-day collection of people and get them looking so perfect in those clothes.  One imagines that people just don’t look like that anymore.  So I guess it’s mostly just in the haircuts and expressions.  As an aside, I’m pretty sure a lot of those outfits clothing were already pretty uncommon by 1955.  Stan Douglas loves clothes!  

  3. Re-reading my post after looking at the photo again I would like to retract a lot of my disappointed/negative tone. The thing isn’t what I’d like it to be but it stands very well on it’s own. And it is surrealistic and odd in the way the individuals seem so lost in their own worlds. It looks like no natural crowd scene. It does look, however, exactly like what it is and that is amazing and revealing enough. What a weird crowd. It should be titled “Casting Call!”

  4. I love this picture because it is beautifull , it is so posed and yet it looks so easy.
    It made me wonder about how it was made .
    I saw it in the wonderful Amsterdam Delamar theater where it has a prominent place the size is three by two ( in meters) with a stunning high resolution .
    It inspires me as a photographer to make pictures

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