There is movement, there is stillness; photography exists in between. This selection of recent acquisitions emphasizes the indeterminate moments revealed by photography. The artists included in the exhibition embrace the notion that photography—despite early beliefs that it could stop time—is far more fluid in its interpretation of time and motion.
Jungjin Lee depicts the graceful arm of a chair that seems to stop midair. Richard Barnes presents a swarm of birds—referred to as a murmur—in the midst of shape-shifting motion between imagined destinations. Alison Rossiter uses photo-sensitized paper to create a diptych that evokes an existential passage. Balloons at pause in Peter Holzhauer’s stark streetscape are the specter of infinite and abstracted shifts, obliquely referencing a concept of time.
The desire for photography to be unknowable, to refer to the metaphysical, may seem a wholly contemporary stance. However, even early experimenters did not focus solely on the factual photographic eye; they also explored the unmeasurable moments that make the pursuit of photographic imagery so uniquely engaging for artists.
Image: Chris McCaw, Sunburned GSP #436 (Nevada/near summer solstice), 2010, unique gelatin silver paper negative, Photographic Arts Council, 2011 © Chris Shaw.