Noam Chomsky, Richard Hamilton, Anthony McCall and Dan Graham were some of the 250 people who, in 1977, received a letter from a Conceptual artist doing research at MIT’s Center for Advanced Visual Studies in Massachusetts. His name was Muntadas and he had sent them a photograph taken from The Best of Life, a book reproducing a selection of the best images from Life magazine, asking if they could return it with their comments. The result was a publication with the images and comments, as well as the exhibition On Subjectivity, which was presented shortly after at MIT.
Now part of the MACBA Collection, more than 40 years later this seminal work continues to revoke the myth of the objectivity of the image. Rather than sending a different photograph to each person, Muntadas sent the same image to five different people. Reproduced without saying who wrote what, the variation among the comments leads us to question the role of subjectivity in the reading and construction of images.