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The Music of Regret (Meryl, Act 2, Rain) from the portfolio America: Now and Here

©Laurie Simmons

The Music of Regret (Meryl, Act 2, Rain) from the portfolio America: Now and Here

Artist: Laurie Simmons (Born in Long Island, New York, 1949)
Publisher: Printed and Published by America: Now and Here (American, founded 2009)
Culture: American
Date: 2006 (printed 2009)
Medium: Chromogenic print
Image: 9 5/8 × 11 7/16 inches (24.4 × 29.1 cm)
Sheet: 20 × 24 inches (50.8 × 61 cm)
State: 94
Edition: 100
Classification: Photograph
Credit Line: Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Ronald Francesco
Label Text:Laurie Simmons’s art involves the use of dolls, props, and mini-dioramas that construct scenes investigating human nature and material culture. Part of the Pictures Generation of the 1970s and ‘80s, which appropriated recognizable imagery in order to explore how mass media shapes perceptions of the self, Simmons creates both photographs and films often filled with nostalgia. She has stated: “…when you remember things they get cleaner and more beautiful over the course of time. They just separate from their reality and almost have an aura. That’s what memory feels like.”

This photograph is a still from the film The Music of Regret, a mini-musical in three acts. In Act 2, Meryl Streep performs alongside a ventriloquist’s dummy in fabricated outdoor settings. The film’s dollhouse world and human-puppet interactions blur the boundaries between fact and fiction, challenging viewers’ perceptions of reality, memory, and time.

Provenance: Purchased by donor from artist Ralph Gibson (2012). Ralph Gibson acquired the work directly from Eric Fischl for his involvement in the project.
Object number: 2013.15.1.13