Collected by Thea Westreich Wagner and Ethan Wagner

Solo en Inglès

Listen to this audio guide of selected works in the exhibition, Collected by Thea Westreich Wagner and Ethan Wagner, co-organized by the Whitney and the Centre Pompidou. 

Narrator: Sam Lewitt’s Paper Citizen mixes obsolete and contemporary forms of communication. To make it, he first scanned old letterpress letters—materials used in the process that formed the backbone of print culture for centuries. He then made individual image files for each letter, and used these digital tools to re-create a page from an old text. He made that image into a chromogenic print—an analog photography process. In the end, the work forms a kind of bridge between outmoded and current communication technologies.

Elisabeth Sherman: Interestingly, the text, which is practically illegible because it's backwards, and dark, and inside of this flat display mechanism, in this case comes from a Latin grammar book for English speakers, so also connecting our contemporary means of communication with a completely outmoded and not even verbally spoken form of language.

Narrator: Take a look around this room. You’ll find a number of artists examining the inner workings of technology.

Elisabeth Sherman: One of the interests that actually ties together many of the artists in this gallery, is peeling back and pulling apart the otherwise seamless-seeming technologies that drive our everyday life, whether they're driving commerce, or communication, or image production. They all feel to the average consumer completely invisible, and fluid, and easy to use, when in reality they are being driven by incredibly complicated systems with often overreaching possibilities. There is a critical lens being shown on them, reminding the viewer how these technologies are really functioning in their everyday lives.


Sam Lewitt (b. 1981), _Paper Citizen 4322_, 2010. Chromogenic print: sheet, 63 3/8 x 49 5/8 (161 x 126); image, 62 1/2 x 48 7/8 (158.8 x 124.1). Edition no. 1/3. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; promised gift of Thea Westreich Wagner and Ethan Wagner. P.2011.250. Courtesy Miguel Abreu Gallery