Featuring a selected group of contemporary photo-based artists, this exhibition emerges and is inspired by ideas such as: what is a photograph; how a photographic piece is supposed to look like; and how photography should be presented to the general public, in times when production is massive and rapid consumption of images is the norm. These ideas have evolved very fast through my short time in graduate school, allowing me to redefine them through my work as a continuous journey. One that also seem to be reflecting the growth of my own voice and potential as an artist.
This exhibition brings together works by three artists who experience photography as a means for creative exploration and their work stretches the concept of the photographic piece. Their practice inspires new approaches to the photographic creation, and brings new understandings regarding a young generation of photographers.
Beyond the particular interests and subject matters of each of the selected artists, their work raise questions regarding the role of images in our culture, and confront pre stablished ideas regarding the nature and function of photography as a medium, where real and virtual dimensions find common ground. This exhibition is also informed by a subtle critique regarding the traditional format of photography and its submissive participation in the exhibition space.
Sarah Charlesworth (1947–2013)
The artist challenges NATURE and ROLE
Sarah Charlesworth’s influential body of work deconstructs the conventions of photography and gives emphasis to the medium’s importance in mediating our perception of the world. It suggests a different relationship between the artist and the image. One in which the artist is not a deliberated creator of new content, but one in which the artist is first an active witness that observes how the existing images inform our daily lives and perception. As a consequence, in several pieces, Sarah Charlesworth re-appropiates existing images and plays with their context, temporality and aesthetics, generating new significance.
Charlesworth approaches the medium of photography from different angles, questioning cultural shared symbols and preconceived ideas. The viewer is confronted by the contrast of the artist’s conceptual and technical decisions, not dependent on a particular style. There’s a sense of creative freedom and openness to explore.
The artist challenges FORMAT and PRESENTATION CONVENTION
Leslie Hewitt, stretches the concept of the photographic piece into something that cuts into walls, wraps around corners and should not be presented to the public as a formal document of precious evidence. Hewitt uses her background as a sculptor to play with photographs as objects, in order to create new significance.
Hewitt displays her work on the floor as a way of stating that what you are looking at is not above your comprehension, and does not contain evidence of any kind of truth. The artist raises questions regarding the form and significance of photography in general and the idea of photography as an object.
The artist challenges FORM
Mishka Henner is among a new generation of artists redefining the role of photography in the internet age. His process is composed by an extensive documentary research combined with a creative composition of imagery from the materials sourced online.
His work often examines the vast digital world and focusses on key subjects of cultural and geo-political interest. In this particular piece, Henner re-appropiates existing images from Google Earth, playing with their context, scale and aesthetics, in order to generate new significance.
The artist challenges FUNCTION
Sonntag uses optics, illusion and fragmented quotidian objects to inspire her audience to confront preconceived ways of seeing and judging. Her pictures play with perception and create new orders and worlds as a way of questioning the idea of truth through photography.
The artists selected in this exhibition examine the processes and tradition of photography, while also exploring the nature of the photographic representation. Their work illustrate different approaches to engage with photography as a medium in continuous evolution, with immense potential and versatility.