Entering Collier Schorr’s ninth exhibit with 303 Gallery, an installation entitled Journals & Notebooks, I am confronted with a banner that screams: The Fucking War is Over. At once I am in two places–the German town of Schwäbisch Gmün where Schorr has been residing and working for the past 18 years and, resolutely and painfully, inside of the time and space I occupy in this world as an American citizen. I feel that I could stand underneath that banner all day and will it to be true. Not just for the past in a small German town, but for me in the present in my large American city. The Fucking War is Over.
Schorr’s genius lies in the incredible ability to make pieces with infinite layers, places and meanings. The intimate is laced serenely with the big ideas, the outsider becomes the insider (and vice versa) and the revealed is suddenly obscured. The scenes featured in Schorr’s breathtaking photographs– shadows cast by flowers on a wall, rows and rows of empty seats, a simple bookshelf — all seem to be saddled with restraint, giving me intimate details but holding back subtly. I want to read stories about these people and places. Delve into their struggles and heartbreaks. I want to read their journals and their notebooks.
I leave the 303 Gallery with the sense of having journeyed somewhere dually imagined and true. Bits and pieces of Schorr’s narrative intermingle with bits and pieces of mine. — Colleen Barry
Journals & Notebooks will be on display until December 4th at 303 Gallery
547 West 21st Street