Friday, November 02, 2007

Silverstein show recap

This is a long lost post which was a response to a comment made right after "If You Reading This" went up...
"Those are pretty big prints for such low resolution cameras. How did they come out?"


You are correct, my friend! Those are very big prints for the cameras used. And they look awesome.

I was very interested in presenting my work in a different manner for this show. One of the things I've based the 95 show around is creating images that can hold up to color coping, images that are strong enough to withstand shifts in color and sharpness. The images also have to be able to withstand complete loss of shadow detail and blown out highlights. The image retains its integrity, despite allowing the composites that create the image on the whole to be seen. You can see the technology used in creating the photo; I don't have any interest in hiding it.

Is it grainy? Or, for digital, noisy? Is it soft? Mottling? Moiré pattern? I don't give a fuck if I think it's a strong photo. This isn't to say that I don't care about how my images are presented; obviously I care a tremendous amount. If the image is strong, the image is strong. This show subtly addressed a question that pops up quite a bit in my work; in a fluid, ongoing and open-ended narrative, how is “complete” defined?

I'm going at that from a couple of ways... the projection in the back will change a few times during the course of the show and the push pin wall will change if photos are purchased, new photos will replace the ones on the wall if any are bought.

two women camden 6_1_1 web.jpg
Strong moiré pattern in shirt.
This moiré pattern kills me, I love it in relation to the other woman’s arm.

I'm not concerned about sharpness in terms of getting right up on the prints. The larger sizes were made with the intent of viewing them from a few feet back, unlike the smaller prints which brings you physicaly closer to the image. Both are intimate in their presentation.

ica night view straight ahead

Making the photos larger is somewhat antithetical to my usual ways because it's asking viewers to step back to look at the photos as opposed to asking them to get right up on them. But I wanted to use the space in a way similar to how I used the ICA window above, meaning that I wanted to create an tight and intimate space by enlarging the images and having the viewer right up on them. This show is very different, but the tightness is there.

So, the way the show is installed in Silverstein, there's an "ease-in" in the front and then you’re right up on the photos no matter which way you turn in the middle room. Then the back room is the projection. I want viewers to walk into the 2nd room and see the installation from the center of the room as well as viewing the photos as individual pieces. And I want there to be a pinballing effect as folks move through the entire space, there’s a lot of connections happening with the photos and the gallery has an amazing number of sight lines. Not to be bragging or anything, but I nailed EVERY FUCKING ONE!

In terms of breathing room, you can have that when you leave.

For many reasons, this show has been great in helping me think about what direction I’m headed in for my 40s.


CHASE said...

Parts of this post echo many of the frustrations I have in photography, especially being in grad school. The image as an object, especially with the inherently different medium of digital, is something I can't get my head around, except that is probably a necessary evil. Thanks for your images and thoughts.

Anonymous said...

one thing that i did notice on some of the prints was a distinctive magenta color cast. the print of the billboard in snow, all the whites were magenta, the girl that was reproduced in elle (who died) way to magenta, and there was one other but i can't remember. most prople will never notice these things, but as a photographer it really bothers me. i could never look at a print on my wall for a long period and get past a color cast.