Photography is so effortless today that almost anyone with a pocket-sized phone can do it. But its history is littered with obsolete equipment (some on view in this gallery) and processes. In this exhibition, you will see work by artists who have purposefully chosen to return to historic ways of making and printing pictures, rediscovering their expressive possibilities as well as combining them with other mediums and materials. Though the work is often labeled as “alternative” or “non-traditional,” it is simply part of the flexible and ever-changing continuum of photography.
We know that a photograph isn’t simply made by a machine – the camera – but we don’t always see evidence of the artist’s hand as we do in a painting. Historic processes such as cyanotypes and tintypes are more hands-on, as well as more inexact, time-consuming, and certainly messier, than digital photography. For some contemporary photographers, these elements suit their vision and contribute toward a sense of making rather than simply taking a photograph.
Like any work of art, a photograph mirrors the world around us but is also a constructed and highly personalized expression. Photography is good at describing the surface of things but is more challenged by showing what is invisible, such as emotions, thoughts, or sensations. In these photographs, each artist finds a way to use photography that is less about exterior world of representation and more about the interior sphere of subjective expression.
Includes work by Bobbe Besold, Jane Hinds Bidaut, Ian van Coller, Betty Hahn, Judy Herzl,Holly Roberts, Nancy Sutor, Will Wilson, and Melanie Yazzie.