Friday, December 9, 2016


            Josh’s Quigley’s Untitled from his series A Shameless Longing explores the ideas of intimacy in which there is a juxtaposition between two types of photographs in the series: family photographs and stranger photographs. Expectantly, his family photographs are more intimate because of the personal connection and access to the subjects. On the other hand, the stranger photographs are less intimate because of the lack of connection to the subject. Although the stranger photographs may seem just as intimate, there is not enough of a relationship in order to fulfill the narrative alone. Further, he explores the suggestions of intimacy in the home and how the concept is hidden from the world as if the world sees intimacy as inappropriate. Quigley views the home as, “anonymous dwellings are swallowed up by the surrounding landscape, their facades exposed to the elements while protecting their inhabitants secrets. These inner sanctums have become the last vestige, a respite from the gnawing public eye as well as a physical shelter from the outside world. The homes are being obliterated by the camera lens, by fire, or being taken over by nature and shadow. There is the element of danger looming, its law of the jungle, survival of the species. Inside the stage is set, and “we” the characters, uninhibited, can act as we please. Sexuality abounds, depicting individuals, couples and families in intimate and vulnerable moments. Outside of the public’s gaze, guards are down, and traces of a primitive ancestry reveal themselves within our domesticated caves”. Some scenes are more intimate including bedroom scenes. Other images of the outside of homes are less intimate and more observant. Some images include family scenes with children. Some even suggest that the two varieties of photographs be their own separate projects but Quigley was drawn to the juxtaposition. The series has been in the process or years with no clear direction until after Quigley completed graduate school. Now they are the version we know today as A Shameless Longing.


            Michael Corridores aims for the viewer to create their own story from their own experiences. At first glance, Corridore’s images from his series Angry Black Snake appear to be an environmental issue of pollution or the occurrence of a natural disaster. Using the full extent of ambiguity, the figures and images are difficult to identify because of the particles in the air. The environment creates a heighten sense of drama and curiosity. During a burnout competition, angry black snake refers to when a car overheats, blowing up the engine resulting in the radiator hose up into the air in a snake like form. From instinct, there is a natural human reaction to the smell and the physical smoke. Some have a face of wonderment, some curiosity and some of distress. For instance, one guy throws his hands in the air in excitement, embracing the scene while one girl has her hand over her head trying to observe from afar and another girl turns her back and covers her face from the smoke. These human reactions display the different kind of people and how each individual reacts in different ways. The smoke is a natural mask to the story. Corridores sought out crowds in moments of excitement and his goal is to use the environment as a way to abstract the context of the event, thus creating a dreamy space. Further, he aims at creating fiction from reality rather than documenting real life.


            Izima Kaoru’s Untitled [Airport Corpse] is apart of series, Landscape with A Corpse in which women are stage corpses. Kaoru hires models to create the ideas by imagining their scenarios of death, including setting and wardrobe. Initially a fashion photographer, the fashion of the corpse, which is what the individual wants to be wearing when they pass, is just as important as the idea. Then the models actually get to live out their ideal death scenes by posing as the corpse. Some scenes of death appear more peaceful such as Kimura Yoshino wears Alexander McQueen #484,2007, with a close up of a woman with her eyes open. Other scenes such as Hasegawa Kyoko wears Yves Saint Laurent appears more gruesome with a women left in an alley by a dumpster. Interestingly, most of the women have their eyes open and are in fashionable clothing. Also, the death scenes include indoor and outdoor scenarios. These visions while intriguing challenge the ideas of high fashion and produce contrasting feelings toward death than usual. These scenarios design viewers to imagine and construct their own version of their deaths. Although this process may appear morbid, staging your death can make the idea of death seem less frightening. In the Huffington Post, Kaoru shares one of the goals of this series, “And I thought [‘Landscape with a Corpse’] could open the door more widely for the Japanese who tend to turn their backs on the taboos of death”. Perhaps even influence enough to stage their individual landscape with a corpse.


            In History’s Shadow, David Maisel uses a fresh medium of an x-ray as art to discuss themes of history. Not originally Maisel’s photographs, he has re-photographed this work in order to call it his own. Although the use of an x-ray is common in the work of art historians, the use as an artwork creates a new perspective of the tool, the mundane becomes innovative. Images such as GM3, 2010 show the detail orientation of the x-ray in which the inward shapes of the horse can be seen forming together. Time as a theme and idea is evident in that these images span over different time periods and are now apart of the contemporary world. The combination of the photographs and the x-ray creates a sense of space and depth due to the sharp contrast with only black and white and no middle gray. Forming a new image through the x-ray includes GM2, 2010 and GM5, 2010 through the overlaying image of the front and back of the head due to the transparency of the medium. “The x-ray has historically been used for the structural examination of art and artifacts much as physicians examine bones and internal organs; it reveals losses, replacements, methods of construction, and internal trauma that may not be visible to the naked eye.” The realism of the x-ray image allows for the images for instance GM21, 2010 of a hand to seem as if it has veins and bones. Ultimately, this project makes the invisible, visible.


            This almost decade long project from 2006-2015, The Prospect of Immortality by Murray Ballard, the title of a book by Robert Ettinger, explores the world of cryonics. According to Ballard’s artist statement, cryonics is “the process of freezing a human body after death in the hope that scientific advances might one day restore life”. Places where these communities and laboratories exist include Arizona, Moscow, KrioRus and Peacehaven. The series includes the technical aspects alongside portraits of those giving their bodies away to science in the future. For instance, Frank, prospective patient and standby team member is apart of both aspects of the process, one who places people in the storage facility but also one who one day will be in the storage facility. This creates a dynamic between human and machines, changing the way viewers perceive death, bodies in a futuristic freezer versus immersed in nature after death. Many have already been frozen in liquid nitrogen while others are on the list for once they pass. Scientifically, Patient Storage Demonstration contains an inside view of how the participates will appear in storage. Although just a demonstration and not an actual person, this images gives an eerie feel with the form of a body in the sleeping bag creating a sense of reality of death but also the process. Ballard’s interest includes the notion of defeating death, for some, by this scientific process. He takes a neutral stance in order for the audience to create their opinion of this process, whether the viewer believes in the science or not.