Ono’s suggestion that the artist was not the sole creator of an artwork was a radical notion in the 1960s, as was the idea that an artwork is just a list of instructions that anyone can follow. Although
has a well-deserved reputation for obscurity, instructional artworks are typically accessible and essentially democratic—they belong to everyone.
“There are so many conceptual artworks [that] I’ve loved over the years,” McGinley said, citing like-minded projects by everyone from
. “But I never thought I could do something like that with photography.”
The results, on view at Team Gallery in New York from June 29th through September 29th, are intimate, thoughtful, and occasionally psychedelic, due to the multitude of reflective surfaces crammed into small rooms. The models range in age from 19 to 87, their bodies a panoply of colors, shapes, and sizes. They’re cast from McGinley’s social circle: friends, friends’ parents, former models, former lovers, artists, choreographers, musicians—creative people with small New York apartments. The mirrors are arranged around the room according to sets of instructions that correspond to each roll of film. Bedsheets are rumpled and tabletops are cluttered, giving the impression that we’re intervening in a private moment. With mirrors leaning against nearly every surface in their apartments, the models are compelled to examine their own bodies in a way that few of us ever do. All are nude, per McGinley’s request (though one model resolutely decided to keep on her high heels), but they each display various degrees of modesty—some chose to keep things modestly hidden, while others let it all hang out.