HOMAGE TO ICE & SNOW | WEST GALLERY
DECEMBER 6, 2019 - JANUARY 18, 2020
Photography is a good way to learn to see and become more alert to one’s surroundings. Photographing in black and white, involves thinking in black and white, and exposing film only adds to the intensity of the experience. In this Homage to Ice and Snow, we see these seasonal elements enhancing the white layer, which helps diminish the background noise, isolate the subject, and further increase our focus.
In selections from White Russia, the novelty of the December, 1973 experience is further amplified by the cold white blanket, bringing forth the delicate, if conforming, human figures. The group of Pedestrians becomes as one while that sweep of motion further affects how we perceive the subject as a uniform group. It also anticipates the work about to be conceived.
Motion in still photography dominated my work for two decades, and also emerged as a way of seeing the surrounding landscape through the lens of the car-camera. I was initially coerced into action by transportation proposals for a network of Super Highways throughout Northwest Connecticut, and through my garden. I fought these with didactic color slide shows at the State Capitol and elsewhere, and once defeated, transferred this acquired way of seeing back to black and white, resulting in what has been called an “aggressively subjective” set of cinematic stills, named the Moving Point of View.
Portraits of American Trees has its roots during that same time period and continues today in various exhibitions, projects and lectures. By contrast to the motion, these Trees are true “stills” from all seasons, though Winter dominates in this exhibition and functions as a mechanism to improve focus. Each tree is captured “at the moment they noticed the camera,” according to critic, Michael Brenson. The other moment in time, really an era that has largely passed in our native woodlands, is the beauty of the pre-invasive landscape which in recent decades is becoming progressively entangled, clogged and displaced by alien plants, pulling down the old order of classical succession.