Recent scholarship suggests that contemporary photographers are returning to photography’s origins, resurrecting obsolete photographic technologies in their work. Such artists are “looking forward by looking backward.” This exhibition explores the relevance of obsolete technologies to contemporary photographic practice.
This exhibit features photographs taken by Linda Connor in 2002 in Turkey and India, including eight images of the Bedrock Church in Cappadocia.
Amanda Hughen, MFA candidate in the Department of Art Practice, explores the boundaries between the natural and the synthetic through patterns formed from geometric shapes. She explores specific dichotomies—the intuitive and the rational, the mass-produced and the unique, precision and imperfection, chaos and order—with particular attention to the thin line that separates these seemingly opposite states.
The Stillhere collaborative of Robin Grossinger and Christine Reed uses the captivating images of George Russell, an under-recognized 20th-century aerial explorer, to continue their investigation of the rapid transformation of the physical landscape of the Bay Area. In this exhibit, selections of Russell’s work, rescued from a Fresno chicken coop, are accompanied by a series of intricate graphic stories combining photographs, old maps, and fragmentary biographic details.
Photographer and literature scholar Lynda Koolish celebrates in her work the “passion, the ethical and creative genius” of the writers whose work she deeply admires. In describing her photographs, Koolish explains: “Despite the intensely personal quality of my work, it is, in its deepest sense, a collaboration. I try to listen with my eyes, pay profound attention to the self that someone else is revealing to me.”
Susannah Hays uses photography to illuminate the complex structures of simple things—a leaf, a bottle, a shadow on the ground She brings to light delicate networks of line, hidden geometrical patterns, strange blind spots, and unexpected flashes of brilliance that can’t be seen with the naked eye, thereby connecting the realms of the mundane and the infinite. But Hays’ photographs also stage an inquiry into the nature of photography itself—its mutual dependence on light and darkness, optics and chemistry, science and art.
South Indian Notebook features a small selection of black-and-white images shot by Professor Stanley Brandes in May 1998, when he was living in Bangalore, capital of the state of Karnataka. Brandes traveled throughout Karnataka and also visited Kochi, on the coast of Kerala, where he took photos of the so-called “Chinese” fish nets and of the inland waterway.
In 1993, Eric Gillet set out for Mongolia with Philippe Simon, a Belgian writer and independent filmmaker, and in 1994 they made their way toward Central Africa. They never reached their final destinations, but achieved their goal nonetheless: to experience the process of traveling which makes reaching a destination less important. The relationship between the travelers and their encounters provide a series of stunning black-and-white photographs in which the photographed “other” looks directly back at the world of the photographer.
Work influenced by a long association with the Indians of Vancouver Island marks the painting of Margaret Peterson (O’Hagan). Peterson, described by former colleagues and students as a “brilliant” critic of student work and a “passionate” teacher, was an Associate Professor of Art who resigned her position at UC Berkeley in protest against the loyalty oath. Although Peterson went on to a long career in painting, with many exhibits and prizes to her credit, she never returned to the university.