Contemporaneous Extension


“What makes photography a strange invention – with unforeseeable consequences – is that its primary raw materials are light and time.”

(Quotation by John Berger)

David Maisel’s “Black Maps” series from 1985 has an Ansel Adams calm that dilutes any reverential similarities. Maisel lucked out on these picturesque compositions catalyzed by open air mining in the American West since the turn of the 20th century. Injection of chemicals into the earth to extract precious minerals is inevitably biting us in the ass, as the degradation of clean air and water continue to be problems lacking solutions. (All images courtesy and copyright of David Maisel, via DavidMaisel.com)

David Maisel, Black Maps (Bingham Canyon, Utah 2), 1985.

David Maisel, Black Maps (Bingham Canyon, Utah 2), 1985.

David Maisel, Black Maps (Hikela, Arizona 2), 1985.

David Maisel, Black Maps (Hikela, Arizona 2), 1985.

David Maisel, Black Maps (Pima, Arizona 2), 1985.

David Maisel, Black Maps (Pima, Arizona 2), 1985.

David Maisel, Black Maps (Ray, Arizona 1), 1985.

David Maisel, Black Maps (Ray, Arizona 1), 1985.

David Maisel, Black Maps (Great Salt Lake, Utah 1), 1985.

David Maisel, Black Maps (Great Salt Lake, Utah 1), 1985.

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Many debates can sprout from the consideration of photography as truth. This is why I like Max Colson: take an alter-ego, combine him with a photojournalistic project, and voila! I chuckled, I smiled, I brooded. This series, called “Hide and Seek,” investigates suspect vegetation that may be colluding with high-security arenas to influence human behavior. Spurred by the Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) model, a theory set in motion by Elizabeth Wood in the 1960s in Chicago, the photographs are accompanied by a thorough Research Document citing his reasons for suspicion and an apology to viewers for stirring souls against plant life. Colson’s series is a provocative instigator that reveals a psychological tilt that may exist in just about any metropolitan construct. (All images courtesy and copyright of Max Colson, via MaxColson.com)

 

 

HONORABLE MENTION:
Gerd Ludwig, Joseph Beuys: an exhibition through Lower RhineI am a sucker for Joseph Beuys, and these images manage to give one a sense of his movements, his countenance. As he wanders around his childhood home of Kleve with Ludwig, there is a surreal sense of detachment, of being with him as he observes a place he’d so long ago forgotten.

 

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