Metropolitian Museum of Art

From October 2012 to January 2013, Lutter focused her pinhole-camera technique on the Greek and Roman Art Galleries of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Working for the first time within a museum setting, Lutter created images of antique sculpture concentrating on the human figure. Instead of employing a whole room to act as her camera, Lutter used a mobile, trunk-sized pinhole camera that could function within the constraints of a museum environment. The artist composed numerous images of varying degrees of intimacy. Views of sculptural figures captured at close range offer a richly detailed and tactile vision of the human body and its marble skin; other images, caught from a distance, observe the sculptures within the architecture of the galleries. Seeing the antique statues against the Metropolitan’s beautifully renovated and classically inspired space suggests a linkage with a distant past no longer fully accessible to modern viewers. The negative image and fixed depth of field created by the mechanics of the pinhole camera produce an uncertainty within the images, which reinforces our temporal detachment from the original contexts of such works of art. The statues, broken and mutilated over centuries, become even further abstracted, introducing questions in the viewer about what exactly is being observed.