2022 – The Big Picture: The Pursuit of Happiness in Playland, California | Photography

as and respected photographer who had a solo exhibition in 1977 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Chauncey Hare lived another life. Working as a petroleum engineer at Standard Oil for 20 years and then retraining as a clinical psychologist, he became a pioneer in exploring the soul-destroying effects of company life. Also, a book called Abuse of work: how to do it recognize and survive He. SheHe is perhaps best known for his series of photographs of young American families in their modernly furnished homes, oddly isolated from their household appliances, and a related series of photographs of men and women in open offices wondering what they were doing there.

Although Hare, who died in 2019 at the age of 84, viewed his psychoanalytic work as the antithesis of his art, two tapes in his life shed light on the singular values โ€‹โ€‹of a consumerist United States, and the promise of the pursuit of suburban happiness. . Janet Malcolm writes in New Yorker, described how the images of Hare, which seemed to be deliberately ordinary, were “trembling” with “a sense of underlying meaning” such that “everything represents something else”. She compared Hare’s framing of his subjects to “the way the psychoanalyst works with free association.”

As art historian Robert Slivkin notes in a fascinating new book on Hare’s work: Stop your daily workThere were a few periods in Hare’s career when he devoted himself entirely to photography. Those were months and years when the Guggenheim grants enabled him to bid farewell to the oil company. Otherwise, his photos were mostly compulsory on the weekends. Between 1968 and 1972 he was a regular visitor to Playland, an amusement park near his home in Richmond, California. He was always packing his ironic superhero gift. This image of a woman riding a drawn tiger on a roller coaster has enough of Janet Malcolm’s shivering symbolism to last a lifetime.

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