This show brings together 11 photographs that discuss and investigate assumptions of physical space and what it means to visually interpret it. Each artist presented has vastly different intentions or methods in their work but are united in a curiosity for the division between what we see in a photograph and the context or information in what we do not. This work bluntly addresses the concern of “the crop” and “cut” of a photographic image, questioning how to properly illustrate a space scientifically, or even emotionally. Each image is equally about using photography as a tool to capture a sensation as well addressing an ambivalence to the medium itself.
Lamport Export Company by Berenice Abbott
This Abott image speaks to the subject of space in a literal sense and belongs in this show for it’s visual and historical context. Abbott is known for her black and white photographs of the New York City Urban landscape in the early 1900’s. In this photo Abbott becomes very aware of the borders and cut of her camera, giving us an intentional bleed of information to reveal compositional features about the architectures shape and geometry.
Part (3) by Nikki S. Lee
This image belongs to a series in which photographer Nikki S. Lee takes photographs that obviously and intentionally leave out information otherwise deemed valuable to the subject and context of a photograph. This image speaks to the question of how we learn and gain meaning for a photographic image. Turning the subject of the photograph away from the woman and man in the foreground, and forcing the viewer to instead question the medium of photography itself.
Eleanor by Harry Callahan
This image hails from a larger body of work in which Harry Callahan photographs his wife, Eleanor, for many years by portraits. His investigation into her as a subject is interesting as her presence becomes the common denominator for the various ways the viewer interprets the photograph based on other elements decided by the photographer. Here we are confronted with Eleanor directly. The black and white contrast provides a formal quality to her by symmetry and lines. The crop is tight and intimate.
New York City by Lee Friedlander
Another early New York City photographer, in this image Friedlander uses illusion and framing to delight the viewer. Friedlander shows us the mannequin while also providing the space in which it resides in the reflection. This unique juxtaposition of elements is heightened by the lowered perspective of the photographer and intentional highlight of the tree coming from the head.
Playground by James Mollison
James Mollison creates a true investigation of space with his Playground series in which documents school yards from a slightly aerial perspective around the world. He provides an objective lens into the space with a full range of focus to democratize the landscape. With a surplus of subjects and information, the viewer is left questioning an understanding of the school yard and how to define it.
The Neighbors by Arne Svenson
In this project Svenson uses his camera as a telescope to view private settings from a public perspective. He crops his images tightly as if to imply he is directly next to the window, he provides minimal information to show the actual block between himself and the subject. Svenson looks at the toleration of public verses private access to a space and asks what happens when we invade one for the other.
The Louisville Flood by Margaret Bourke-White
Bourke-White uses her camera as a tool to relay a message describing irony and suffering within this image. She looks specifically at the surrounding environment and the ways that influences and informs the foreground to define a place in a photograph. Juxtaposing the billboard alongside the line of people provides context to a time period historically and sentiment emotionally.
USA. Florida. Hallandale by Martin Parr
Parr utilizes a close, intimate, and confrontational crop in this photograph and cuts all surrounding information of the identity of this man. He uses a contrasted and flashy technique to describe a feeling the viewer can associate with an environment. We are left with a large range of sensory reactions of from such a minimal photograph.
25º14’01.70″N 55º17’59.31″E by Sam Irons
This image is unique in the exhibition for it’s high textual support in regards to the reading of the photograph. Irons deals with a scientific definition of place for his photographs, photographing first and then assuming it’s meaning from it’s locations globally.
Equivalent by Alfred Stieglitz
Stieglitz’s Equivalence series looks at the emotional resonance of clouds. This image is included in the show for it’s willed look at absence of space in a photographic setting. Providing no unique or per-meditated meaning, Stieglitz is only allowing his footprint to be recognized in the smallest potential of choosing the borders and clicking the shutter.
Toasting From RV by Zoe Strauss
This Zoe Strauss image is the original basis for the curation of this show. Strauss crops her image with a strong intention and focuses her subject directly.
I have included this image of mine in the show because of the influence it hails from the Zoe Strauss image I chose above. I am interested in how to draw attention and meaning by the information provided, or not provided, around a subject.