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Audition Four: Kathleen and Max


  • Medium

    Chromogenic print

  • Dimensions

    Frame (Black painted wood): 49 x 61 x 2 in. (124.46 x 154.94 x 5.08 cm)
    Image: 47 1/2 x 59 1/2 in. (120.65 x 151.13 cm)

  • Credit

    The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
    Purchase with funds provided by The Acquisition and Collection Committee

  • Accession number


  • Object label

    For her Audition series, Sharon Lockhart had Los Angeles public school students reenact a climactic scene from French director François Truffaut’s 1976 coming-of-age film L’Argent de poche (Small change). In Audition Four, Kathleen and Max, Max rests his hands on Kathleen’s shoulders and leans in toward her, his lips seeking her lips. Kathleen stands straight with her arms at her side, fingers curled and eyes open with wariness. In the original movie scene, two children share a first kiss, their gestures shy and self-conscious. It is therefore impossible to differentiate here between the awkwardness the young actors are authentically experiencing in the moment and the awkwardness they are intentionally performing. These images toy with our responses to documentary and staged modes of photography. Seeing the images from the series side by side emphasizes the choreographed nature of the scene, yet the photographs elicit empathy all the same.