When the artist Hiroshi Sugimoto visited Pulitzer Arts Foundation in 2003, he initially intended to take photographs of the building designed by Tadao Ando, an architect with whom Sugimoto shares certain formal and aesthetic affinities. However, the photographer quickly focused on Richard Serra’s Joe, a torqued spiral sculpture that was commissioned for the Pulitzer courtyard and named in homage to the late Joseph Pulitzer Jr. Using a photographic technique involving areas of extremely soft light and blurred darkness, Sugimoto sculpted views that seem like fragments of visual memory. Displaced onto the planar space of the photographs, Serra’s sculpture emerges as something new and elusive, winding in and out of our familiarity with it. Nineteen of Sugimoto’s photographs comprised the installation.
In conjunction with the exhibition, Pulitzer Arts Foundation published the book Joe, which features a selection of forty photographs in Sugimoto’s series. To further the idea of parallel creations, Sugimoto suggested commissioning a text by a novelist for this book. Jonathan Safran Foer’s deep interest in the juxtaposition of visual arts and poetic language predestined him to be a part of the project, and through this collaboration, the author composed a text that related to both the sculpture and the photographs while neither describing nor defining them.