Co-curated by Christopher Schneberger and Stephanie Taiber, "Shadow Fixation" is on view at Perspective Gallery in Evanston until January 28, 2017.
Light sensitive materials – film and paper – can grasp and hold the shadow. They can be transparent windows to transport the viewer through the photographer’s lens and to a scene. Most photography is exactly this. The mat and glass, the surface of the paper, are not meant to be noticed but rather to be portals and panes, as unnoticed as possible. Yet these things are materials after all, and some photographic artists have dared to make the viewer aware of them, as if deliberately smearing or breaking the window, or putting the window on a pedestal all by itself. In the late 1980s, Mike and Doug Starn intentionally creased, scratched, and taped their prints together, forming multi-tychs in which a single image might span across dozens of small prints. This newly divided view thus made the window as important as the vista.
This exhibition showcases the work of five artists who further challenge and deconstruct the medium and its materials. Doug Fogelson makes images of cameras, but not by photographing with any camera. They are color photograms which record the shadows and contours of vintage cameras set below the enlarger in the darkroom. Julie Weber addresses the transitory nature of the light sensitive material by allowing the photo paper, exposed prior to or during the exhibition, to slowly reveal and wash away the latent unfixed image. Jaclyn Wright takes 4x5” film holders, generally meant to protect film from light, and artfully ruins their intended function with laser cuts that produce overlapping patterns and tonalities. Juan Fernandez also uses the form of the photogram (exposure of paper with white light and no negative) to depict three dimensional objects like icosahedrons with the precision of a draftsman and the texture of an intaglio print. And Elina Ruka, through the gestures of curling, warping, overlapping, and cascading film transparencies, contemplates the ever-changing nature of water and the malleability of image - its form and meaning.
With these approaches, the artists question the very processes and substrates of the photographic medium. They make the window a part of the view.
I'm showing a new piece "All the Waves Belong to the Sea", 2017 and "Uncontainable Compromises", 2016.
Fifteen curators. Thirty-one photographers. This issue is pure collaboration. The final result is a beautiful, hand-curated publication of the best contemporary photography in existence today.
My work from series "Aqueous" was chosen by Ann Jastrab, thank you!
Happy to have made to Photo Lucida's Critical Mass 2017 200 list.
Some of the juror's comments about my "Aqueous" series:
- Your inspired experimentation and abundant originality are well met by the beautiful colors and designs of your images.
- Beautiful. Window within windows provide a visual delight and the transparencies make the water feel more present.
- Love the tactile experimentation of this series! Good to see the few installation shots on your website - this work very interactive, would be great to see it in a large-scale environmental exhibit.
- I love this series, there is something really disorienting and modern about them.
- The image 'Relativity' is very good. The image appears to peel back layers of the environment making various state of its nature visible to us in one moment, moving the viewer from calm to anger and back. It is unique in this particular selection of prints with a visual communication that is engaging, graphic and artistic at the same moment.
- Some interesting and effective ways of capturing and presenting water.
- Excellent execution, bravo! Intriguing and compelling. Love the work!
- The thing I find most compelling about your work is the use of layering techniques via transparencies. It is not something I have seen done often and I enjoy having to stop and really try to figure out what is happening in these images. Seeing the work installed really added another dimension of interest for me. I really love the corner installation of the wavy transparency print.
- Strong images, I like what's going on with the layering and transparencies.
Framing Effect: Elevation is now a permanent installation at Syinthesis Sound Centre in Glendale, WI.
17 pieces from Aqueous series have been curated into a show at Vedder Price, Chicago by Patter Hellstrom Visual Art.
Albert P. Weisman Award exhibition at Arcade gallery, Chicago.
MFA Thesis show at Glass Curtain gallery, Chicago.
Published by Mene.CC in 2011.
“The Latvian Elina Ruka creates a series of portraits of ”a potential home”, documenting the “places where her home could be” and looking for the feeling of belonging. Her images compel one to take a closer look and think about a place in a foreign city as home, and, indeed, although she documents different places, all of them have something ineffable in common – just as they have a shared coldness, which is typical of documentary photography.”
“Melancholic representation of social life is frequent in Latvian literature. Two Latvian photographers represent this melancholy visually as the split up place. El?na Ruka explains that she has managed to approach a big industrial city, Lyon, only from more familiar perspective. Her camera observes the city from a garden – a perspective induced by the viens?ta concept. Photos draw a real frontier between the two realms, and the physical separation of a unitary space substantiates the place-bound identity. A wicket gate invites to a triple rite de passage: from a small farmstead to a big industrial city, from family to society, from mono-cultural environment to cultural heterogeneity. To a great surprise, the territory of a new significant Other – the ‘civilized West’ – looks exactly like the urban industrial landscape developed by the Soviets.”