G U Y S T R I C H E R Z :
Americans in Kodachrome
[11 December, 2004 - 5 February, 2005]
From the dusty repository of attics, closets and basements of American homes come the remarkably poignant memories of our nation’s recent past; technicolor fossils of family life captured on the world’s first modern color film and brought together in celebration of shared remembrance in RoseGallery’s upcoming exhibition, Americans in Kodachome. Taken by unheralded photographers and previously relegated to the silver screens of traditional family slideshows, the photographs included in the exhibition document life in America between 1945 and 1965. This twenty year span between a war won and a war lost was the mythical era of the American Dream when generations of Americans experienced unprecedented prosperity, others reveled in the possibility, and all who could afford low-cost 35mm cameras could record their personal legacies as their hopes were realized or faded away.
A phenomenal testimony to an often idealized memory of postwar democracy, Americans In Kodachrome is an assembly of the nostalgic, conceptualized and brought to fruition
by renowned conceptual artist, photographer, and printer, Guy Stricherz. Once considered his family’s own personal historian, Stricherz is now the adopted chronicler for the visual memoirs of hundreds of ordinary Americans. His open call for family photos shot on Kodachrome slides which appeared in small town papers in the early 1980’s was met by an onslaught of 500,000 submissions from more than 500 collections from coast to coast. Over a seventeen year period, Stricherz has compiled, edited and made these personal histories into a series of prints that celebrate iconic American moments: the family with their first televison, or standing proud in front of their first dream home, a young teenager waiting for her prom date in a strapless blue dress, a child unwrapping a new Barbie doll or posing with toy guns as the Cowboy Kid…
Characterized by their blunt honesty and universal appeal, the images have been transformed into relics of unmatched beauty and permanence by the extremely rare dye-transfer process. This labor-intensive method of printing yields the widest gamut of colors in photographic history and emanates with a luminosity akin to the original projected Kodachrome transparencies. In October of 2004, twenty-five of Guy Stricherz’ Americans in Kodachrome dye tranfer prints will be featured in the Getty Center’s Exhibition, Close to Home: An American Album.