INDIFFERENT HORIZONS (2016)
Indifferent Horizons continues my line of investigation of photography as a negotiator of representational media. In past work I have employed photography as a tool to engage in a dialogue with painting through combining the medium of paint with photography, or through reference to the history of painting within the still life genre. This new body of work explores photography’s relationship to sculpture as it pushes the limits of represented and suggested photographic space.
I work with photographs that I take of elements of the natural world to point to our complex relationship to it, approaching landscape as the organization of space. The pieces in this series draw their titles from Robert Smithson’s photographic essays “Incidents of Mirror-Travel in the Yucatan” (1969) and “A Tour of the Monuments of Passaic, New Jersey” (1967), both published in Artforum. Through his writing and the photographs that accompanied each essay, Smithson asserted his subjectivity and active experience of the places he explored. He used the camera as a way to question the conventional representations of a “closed landscape,” in which a point of view is based on intentional boundaries, defining “a self-sustaining autonomous limit within a containing framework...that excludes breaks or interruptions.” On the other hand, he wrote, the “open landscape…embodies multiple views, some of which are contradictory, whose purpose is to reveal a clash of angles and orders within a sense of simultaneity.”[i]
Indifferent Horizons responds to photographic representations of landscape, and is rooted in Smithson’s concept of the “open landscape.” I combine and mutate photographic prints to mirror the way the camera acts as a mediator of experience. Cuts, rips and folds in the printed surface disrupt the continuity and deconstruct the solidity of the landscapes depicted. By juxtaposing views of opposing places, I invent an impossible space that embraces a dichotomy of simultaneous depth and flatness. These interventions break the photographic illusion of transparency through an insistence on physical presence and tangible form.
[i] Smithson, Robert. “Art Through the Camera’s Eye (c. 1971).” Robert Smithson: The Collected Writings. Ed. Jack Flam. Los Angeles, California: University of California Press, 1996. p. 374
Two pieces from this series were acquired by the Portland Art Museum and are included in the current exhibition "Photography and Contemporary Experience," curated by Julia Dolan, The Minor White Curator of Photography. The show is on view now and will be up through March 12, 2017.