In Davenport’s series The Apartments, images of bland white-brick buildings in New York City are punctuated by incidents of terrorism and radical protest: a missile heads menacingly toward a windowed facade; a masked sniper takes aim; clouds of billowing smoke rise from an unknown source. The artist staged and photographed each incident in her studio, taking as her points of reference news images of events such as the 1970 Kent State massacre and the attack at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games as well as documentation of performance art from the same period. The final photographs are digital composites that explore the relationship between avant-garde art and political violence, evoking a sense of disillusionment with the revolutionary ideologies of the 1960s and 1970s.
The inaugural exhibition of The Apartments opened at the Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery in New York on September 6, 2001. Five days later, the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center irrevocably altered the way Davenport’s images would be seen. Today, the series stands as a testament to the complex collision of truth and fiction in photography and the unpredictable effects of historical circumstances on the meaning of works of art.
Inscription: Gallery label affixed to frame backing, verso TL: "NICOLE KLAGSBRUN // Nancy DAVENPORT // (Canadian, born 1965) // Sniper [underlined], 2001 // C-Print // Edition of 5, #1 // 30 1/4 x 34 1/4 inches framed // ND 23 // 526 WEST // 26TH STREET // ROOM #213 // NEW YORK // NY 10001 // 526 WEST 26TH STREET ROOM #213 NEW YORK, NY 10001 U.S.A."
the artist; [Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery, New York, NY, 2001–11]
Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery. "Nancy Davenport," September 6, 2001–October 13, 2001.
International Center of Photography. "Strangers," September 13, 2003–November 30, 2003.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "After Photoshop," September 25, 2012–May 27, 2013.
Ritchin, Fred. "Strangers: The First ICP Triennial." Aperture 174 (Spring 2004).