Online Exhibition: June 24–September 4, 2020
Lewis Baltz, Venezia Marghera, 2011,
In this 16 – element work Baltz elegantly strips the façade of the industrial greatness of Marghera, Italy, exposing a decaying infrastructure that had been collapsing since the 1960s. The irony of this work is that it was made as a public commission to bring attention to the port town right as it was building two Disney cruse ships that were to be the largest cruse ships constructed to date. Instead of glorifying these accomplishments Baltz unveils a sorted history while finding humor to the short history of Marghera. The true Baltz stamp is his ability to present a cutting edge dialogue while seducing you with his presentation and images. He is a master of his tools and this last work does not shy away from any of these expectations.
“The only remarkable thing about Marghera is her proximity to Venice. Otherwise Marghera is just another episode in the deindustrialization of Western Europe. Marghera sells aluminum, chemicals, petroleum and ships, and business has declined steadily since 1960. Venice sells herself, and her fragile, crepuscular beauty, and trade has been brisk for centuries.”
– Lewis Baltz
John Divola, Enso: 36 Right-Handed Circumference Gestures, 2018
Since 2015 I have generated a number of groups of photographs working in the abandoned housing tract of what was previously George Air Force Base in Victorville, California. Enso: 36 Right-Handed Circumference Gestures is a single work containing 36, 8×10 inch Silver Gelatin contact prints. These photographs are arranged chronologically and were exposed between June 7thand August 12th, 2018.
In each image I have attempted to draw a circle using spray paint and tracing the circumference of my right arm. Each drawing is in a different room generally in the morning. It is an index of a place and a time. It is an index and trace of my physical being.
In the 1995 film “Smoke” Harvey Keitel plays Auggie the owner of a smoke shop. One day Auggie brings out an album of photographs to show to his friend Paul, played by William Hurt. It seems that every afternoon Auggie goes out of his shop to photograph the same corner in front of his store. Looking at the images Paul exclaims that they are all the same. To which Auggie immediately protest that they are all different.
Christina Fernandez, Bend, 1999-2000/2014
Bend is a rumination on travel and legacy and connections between the past and present. Originally conceived after Fernandez photographed the Zapotec ruins of Oaxaca, Mexico during multiple trips, where she developed a narrative that connected her personal family story with the ancient ruin photographs. “Bend” is one of two sub sections from the series titled, RUIN, begun in 1999, came out of the artists travels to Oaxaca, Mexico. Bend seeks to bridge the gap between body and landscape by intertwining a personal travel narrative with documentary photographs of the Zapotec landscape and a performance for camera-self-portrait.
CJ Heyligner’s, Targets, 2015
Targets began as an experiment celebrating fallibility and questioning the criteria used to qualify A photograph as either successful or unsuccessful. Inspired by Herrigel’s Zen and the Art ofArchery and the Mental Exercise drawings of Mel Bochner, I place a sheet of film in my camera and make five attempts atplacing the sun in the exact center of the frame.
In making this series, I hold a view camera in my hands—a somewhat cumbersome instrument that normally requires the use of a tripod to obtain predictable results—and rely on my physical orientation to make an attempt at the desired composition. A unique feature of this tool is that once a sheet of film has been loaded into the camera, the image on the ground glass becomes obscured—“ viewing ” and “taking” must take place consecutively. I am unable to see what the camera sees when making Targets —I am working “blind”.
Once a site has been identified, the camera is loaded with film and five attempts are made at placing thesun in the center of the frame. After five exposures have accumulated on the surface of the film, it is replaced with a fresh sheet and I continue working until five sheets have been exposed—making for 25 attempts in total.
As the “composition” of each piece is designed around a central point, the images are printed as circlesradiating from the center while the paper retains the proportions of the sheet of film itself. The prints are made on deacidified newsprint putting them in conversation with common paper targets. When hung from the top corners, this lightweight paper moves in response to the viewer as they approach the piece. These reactions are a visual continuation of the consequence of the minute movements that are so integral to thecreation of the photographs themselves.
The resulting images are endlessly perplexing. They take on false volumes—appearing at times to be convex and concave simultaneously. Additionally, there are analogies to celestial bodies that have no direct referent. They are fraudulent constellations that have been fabricated by
the camera. I am intrigued by the idea that these images rely on failure in order to be successful. A camera is a tool that relies on precision, yet the beauty of the work stems from our human imperfection and the virtue of the attempt itself.
Watch Christina Fernandez discuss her work Bend.
For more information please visit our exhibition guide