In the early 1990s, before I began working in colour, I decided to frame my photographs in distinctively coloured Formica rather than in black, dark grey or simulated stone, which I had been using. I selected colours linked to details in the photographs, colours connected to prominent objects, the temperature or smells I associated with the rooms. It struck me that the colour would serve to capture something quintessential or characteristic about the site, something that would give the viewer a little more information (but not too much).
In this picture, I chose a beige frame to mimic the colour of the flesh of the boy-girls. (When I saw these dummies, they reminded me of angels in a Hans Memling painting, singing and playing instruments.). Introducing colours in the frames to conjure up associations still strikes me as a good idea for some of my black-and-white work. Indeed, I recently saw a group of these photographs lined up on a wall and I thought they made sense together.
Since early on, it has been a concern of mine to have work framed in the way I wanted rather than in the way an owner may choose or the " house of style" of an institution. The coloured frames were my solution at the time.
Later, when I started making colour photographs, this solution no longer seemed necessary or possible. Framing colour photographs in colour frames was too much of a good thing, too distracting, and in recent years, I have been framing photographs in dark grey with slight, almost subliminal, tints of green, red, blue or brown.
These frames simulate and are easily mistaken for Formica. Yet I still favour a neutralsatin finish and want each framed photograph to be a flawless object (I started out as a sculptor). It is an odd fact that when black-and-white photographs like this one are shown in coloured frames alongside colour pictures with more neutral grey frames, they tend to be seen as colour, not black-and-white, photographs.
Catalogue "Lynne Cohen - Faux Indices" - Exhibition at Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal - from February 7 to April 28, 2013 / Lynne Cohen & François LeTourneux (Page 51)