Lewis Baltz Research Fund 2021

Tarrah Krajnak and Theo Simpson

Congratulations to the winners of the 2021 Lewis Baltz Research Fund: Tarrah Kranjnak and Theo Simpson!

The Lewis Baltz Research Fund was established to honor the vision and memory of the American artist Lewis Baltz. The fund involves the annual grant of a substantial fund to support the creation, completion and dissemination of a project in any artistic medium, encompassing, but not limited to, anything from academic research to book publication, performance or installation art, video or film production to experimental digital work. The intention is to support projects reflecting the intellectual rigor of Lewis Baltz’s conceptual practice which also succeeded in propounding a significant connection to social and political issues.

In her ongoing series ‘Master Rituals’, Tarrah Krajnak grapples with the canons of modern photography and engages specifically with the legacies of⁠⁠ “master” photographers Ansel Adams and Edward Weston. Krajnak uses the camera, her body and performance to engage with their work through acts of erasure, redaction, and reenactment. Part homage and part critique, the resulting multi-media work opens a dialogue with these “father figures”, using them to think about larger issues including ruins of the Modern, fantasies of land preservation, post-war development in the American west, and attendant essentialist ideas about nature, beauty, and whiteness.⁠⁠
Theo Simpson’s project ‘Toward the Metal’ is the third part of an ongoing body of work investigating the idea of landscape and the passage of time and evolution which underpin contemporary civilisation, through the study of its recorded history, geology, industry and economics. Toward the Metal looks to the future, and the spiralling pace of technological development, environmental change, destabilisation, globalisation, and imbalance set to dictate the terms of existence. Extending the locations, materiality, scale, and sources of research Simpson will explore new ideas and sites of increasing global – yet also provincial – significance.⁠⁠

Read more in the Eye of Photography article here. 

📸 Tarrah Kranjnak; Theo Simpson