From its beginnings in experimentation by mid-19th century scientists and gentlemen of leisure, photography has been shaped by the desire to understand and explore the medium’s essential materials. Taking that spirit of invention and discovery as its point of departure, this exhibition features the work of seven artists—Matthew Brandt, Marco Breuer, John Chiara, Chris McCaw, Lisa Oppenheim, Alison Rossiter, and James Welling—who focus their investigations on the light sensitivity and chemical processing of photographic papers, challenging us to see the medium anew.
The exhibition also includes an overview of experimental practices during the twentieth century, drawn from the Getty Museum’s collection. The works on view in Light, Paper, Process provide a glimpse into the continued interrogation and reinvention of the medium of photography by artists working today. ~via The Getty
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Filtering by Tag: alternative processes
Excerpted from the Hunter Drohojowska-Philp article, Getty's Experimental Photographs and Paris Photo on KCRW:
One of the most conspicuous and critically appraised aspects of recent photography has been the rise of the photograph made without a camera or at least, without a camera as it has been traditionally employed. In other words, without the very invention that had once seemed so revolutionary, the ability to quickly capture and reproduce an exact picture of the real world.
But cameras, now reduced to being cellphone accessories, have come to seem less important to these artists than processes by which prints were made. These are photographs made with light, chemicals and photo–sensitive papers just as they were in the pre–digital era.
An engrossing selection of this work is on view at the Getty through September 6. Organized by Virginia Heckert, now acting director of the photography department. The show reveals the strengths and pitfalls of such a methodology and posits its place in the larger history of the medium.
Much of the history of photography was dedicated to idea of perfecting the technical ability to make a flawless print, controlling the silver tones and later the colors, avoiding scratches or other distracting bits on the surface, seducing viewers into leisurely acceptance of these apparently accurate scenes.
Excerpted from Jonathon Keats' article, Darkroom, Redux? Chemistry Bests Megapixels at the Getty's New Photography Show, from ForbesLife:
When Chris McCaw takes a picture, smoke wafts from his camera as an image is burned into his paper. His subject is the sun, which his lens focuses and intensifies like a magnifying glass. The span from dawn to dusk is seen as a streak of radiant heat.
Don’t try to replicate it with your DSLR. The fact is, you can’t (though you can fry the electronics). In an age when digital photography is nearly ubiquitous—and most darkroom supplies have been discontinued—McCaw’s work gives a glimpse of what new technologies have thoughtlessly abandoned. Other glimpses are provided by the photography of Alison Rossiter and John Chiara. All are included in a revealing new exhibit of experimental photography at the J. Paul Getty Museum.
Like McCaw, Chiara makes his own equipment. He works with a camera so large that it must be transported on a flatbed truck, and composes his image by climbing inside it. Rossiter, in contrast, uses no camera at all. Instead she collects expired photographic paper—some more than a hundred years old—which she develops and fixes, visualizing the entropy of time by making images of photochemical deterioration.
The history of photography is one of hands-on improvisation. This Getty show demonstrates that darkroom experimentation is never passé and sometimes futuristic.
-Jonathon Keats, April 14, 2015
The article can be read in its entirety on ForbesLife by clicking here. The exhibition catalogue, Light, Paper, Process: Reinventing Photography, is now available for purchase in our online bookstore.