There is a new exhibit at The Parsons School of Design opening this weekend.
Sheila C. Johnson Design Center
Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Gallery
June 26 – September 2, 2015
Opening reception: Thursday, June 25, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Artists have used lenses to create images for centuries. But the invention of photography, the means of chemically fixing an image projected from the real world onto a sheet of metal or paper, occasioned a vast sea change, and from 1839 the lens–based image meant the photograph and vice versa. In 2015, some two-and-a-half decades into the digital era, the twin juggernauts of the cellulose technologies that we came to know as photography and film have run their course, and our very understanding of those two terms have undergone a massive transformation, as have our notions of art made with lenses.
The artists in this exhibition are all “photographers,” which is to say they have all received a Master of Fine Arts degree from the photography program at Parsons School of Design, but none of them chemically transcribe the world onto film. Rather, they use various digital imaging and video processes to create their works; what they have in common is the camera, even if only the one on their iPhone. These artists’ enduring employment of the lens as a fundamental tool to make their art positions them within the photographic tradition and their varied practices as “photography.” Their art is camera work.
Their production takes the form not only of framed images on the wall or moving images on a glowing screen, but also of psychedelic enveloping installations, mock natural history dioramas, and Instagram feeds. Their work also finds its place in publications, copious publications, self-published, published by traditional publishers, and even published by a collective of some of their former classmates. This emphasis on the printed paper format as the natural home for their may seem somewhat surprising given the emphasis of the digital age on the seamlessly virtual and ephemeral, but it nonetheless marks them as a generation of artists and provides another echo of the pioneering photography publication from the dawn of the last century. Alfred Stieglitz’s Camera Work began by championing Pictorialism, the already old-fashioned idea the photography could prove itself a fine art by imitating painting, but ended its distinguished run by presenting the most modern photographic vision of its time. The artists in this exhibition similarly keep an eye on the legacy of the photographic past while bringing camera work into the future.
Including the work of: Jun Ahn, Berk Çakmakçı, Alison Chen, Xiao Chen and Yichen Zhou, Bobby Davidson, John Deamond, Nathan Harger, Erik Madigan Heck, Brigitte Lustenberger, Joy McKinney, Charlie Rubin, José Soto, Keith Telfeyan, and Marie Vic.
Curated by Sarah Hasted and Joseph R. Wolin
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