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Hiroshi Sugimoto «Theaters» | Paramount, Oakland, 1994
Hiroshi Sugimoto, «Theaters», 1978
Paramount, Oakland, 1994 | © Hiroshi Sugimoto

Hiroshi Sugimoto «Theaters» | Paramount, Oakland, 1994Hiroshi Sugimoto «Theaters» | La Paloma, Encinitas, 1993Hiroshi Sugimoto «Theaters» | Orinda Theater, Orinda, 1992Hiroshi Sugimoto «Theaters» | Cinerama Dome, Hollywood, 1993

Categories: Photography

Keywords: Perception | Light | Space | Time | Cinema

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United States | photo series

 Hiroshi Sugimoto

Since the 1970s, Sugimoto has worked on his photo-series entitled «Theaters,» in which he photographs auditoriums of American movie theaters, and drive-in movies, during showings. The exposure time used for the photograph corresponds with the projection time of the film. This allows him to save the duration of the entire film in a single shot. What remains visible of the film’s time-compressed, individual images is the bright screen of the movie theater, which illuminates the architecture of the space. That its content retreats into the background makes the actual film a piece of information, manifesting itself in the (movie theater) space. As a result, instead of as a content-related event, film presents itself here as the relationship between time and spatial perception.

«One night I had an idea while I was at the movies: to photograph the film itself. I tried to imagine photographing an entire feature film with my camera. I could already picture the projection screen making itself visible as a white rectangle. In my imagination, this would appear as a glowing, white rectangle; it would come forward from the projection surface and illuminate the entire theater. This idea struck me as being very interesting, mysterious, and even religious.»
Hiroshi Sugimoto

(Source: Cat. Thomas Kellein, Hiroshi Sugimoto, «Time Exposed,» 1995,
p. 91)


Heike Helfert