This week’s 5×5 is curated by Will Corwin. Will Corwin is a sculptor based in New York. He has exhibited at The Clocktower Gallery, Gallery Aferro, and the George and Jorgen gallery in London, and will have a large scale public piece in the Staten Island ferry terminal this fall. He writes for Frieze Magazine, The Brooklyn Rail, Art Papers, Bomb and will edit the summer issue of ArtCore Journal. He has a regular show on Art International Radio and just started working with Critical Practices Incorporated.
Lisa Fairstein toys with the fuzzy boundaries of believability in her photography. She generates multi-layered sets in which actual models are posed against large scale prints of earlier photographs; rather than toying with excessive computer manipulation she chooses instead to face off with the discipline and history of photography itself, which has always indulged it’s illusory ability and predisposition towards fakery. In Fairstein’s practice, by siting her photographs within photographs, she deftly eliminates the idea of the “original” image, which seems a fitting metaphysical counterpoint to the elusive nature of authenticity in contemporary digital work
David Riley’s obsession with crispness of detail and light and shadow yield a sense if heightened reality. With a draftsman’s or architects precision, his photographs are about line and composition. Yet,this precision is purposely self-defeating: in Riley’s barn series, the weathered texture and grain of the wood becomes an exercise in abstraction, and the pure geometricity of the structures play off the grittiness of the soil in the foreground and the blank purity of the sky behind. Riley strips away narrative and reduces the all-American landscape to a stark and singular lyrical visual dialogue.
The Automated Digital Photo Collage is an image generating platform that records presence. Happily snapping away photos every few seconds, an algorithm is applied to these images that stitch them together, adding and removing objects and individuals as they move through the a given space. Person-shaped holes appear in the fabric of crowds, while hybrid, multi-bodied human forms appear elsewhere. Mintz has long focused on the art of the surprise unposed street snapshot, the ADPC generates an abstract narrative around this motivation. (To hear my interview with Tommy Mintz, follow this link: http://artonair.org/show/tommy-mintz-0)
The artist Ward Shelley first introduced me to the work of Susan Silas; her Helmbrecht’s Walk series of photographs portrayed the 225-mile-long forced March of 580 women concentration camp prisoners at the end of WWII, literally the path they had walked as it appeared 53 years later. Silas had reestablished the melancholy meaning of the path by the act of photography, and the power of much of her work lies in the acknowledgement of the presence of the invisible artist “looking.” She has two autobiographical exhibitions in March in which the camera has been turned inwards and used to record the effects of time on the body. Both opening March 7 at Studio 10 and Momenta Art. (To hear my interview with Silas follow this link: http://artonair.org/show/susan-silas)
The photographs of Simon Lee employ a decidedly non-photographic expressionistic sensibility in their composition. Lee plays with the sense of reality and authenticity by creating compositions that often purposely obscure much of the frame via movement of the camera or happy coincidence. This is not done to confound or distract the viewer but instead, like Fra Angelico obsessing about faux-marble in his frescos, is a meditation on sublime abstraction that often emerges unexpectedly. Not surprisingly, Simon Lee also frequently employs found photographs and writings in his work as well, constructing poetic narratives from unrelated snippets, as in his most recent exhibition ” Mother is Passing. Come at once.” (To hear my interview with Simon Lee, follow this link:artonair.org/show/simon-lee)