Skip to main content

Anne Collier

Despair
2006

Not on view

Date
2006

Classification
Photographs

Medium
Chromogenic print

Dimensions
Sheet: 37 1/4 × 45 5/8in. (94.6 × 115.9 cm) Image (Sight): 36 5/8 × 44 15/16in. (93 × 114.1 cm) Frame: 38 1/8 × 46 7/16 × 1 1/2in. (96.8 × 118 × 3.8 cm)

Accession number
2006.20

Edition
AP 1/1 | Ed. 4

Credit line
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Photography Committee

Rights and reproductions
© Anne Collier

Despair is one of a series of photographs of self-help tapes that Anne Collier purchased in a thrift store (others include Anger, Doubt, Anxiety, and Guilt). Positioned against a pristine white backdrop, an unspooled magnetic tape is rendered almost shadowless and clinical. The emotional resonance of the word Despair contravenes the neutral style of the photograph, suggesting a deeper turmoil beneath its cool surface. Like many of Collier's photographs of record sleeves, posters, magazines, and self-help manuals, the swirl of tape takes on the quality of an abstract drawing. Her work borrows equally from the legacy of West Coast Conceptual and Minimalist art and pop psychology, especially the self-help movement of the 1960s and 70s, in an attempt, as she puts it, “to draw analogies between these territories.”  




Sunrise

Sunset

A 30-second online art project:
Ryan Kuo, Hateful Little Thing

Learn more

All visitors aged 12 and older must show proof they have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine for admission to the Whitney, in accordance with NYC requirements. Visitors aged 18 and older will also be asked to show photo ID. Face coverings are required for all visitors. Learn more about the Whitney’s safety guidelines.