domenica 30 novembre 2008

STATES OF MIND 2008

About the photographers

The visions of Dustin Askland tell stories of a minimal landscape where nature provides the frame for ordinary people – from workers to suburban housewives. There is no judgement or outcry: his pictures intensify the consistency of everyday life. American Icons such as the flag, the base ball pitch and glove, the big landscapes between the East and West coasts, are immortalised in his photos with a clear light which is almost unreal, as if he is attempting to stop time. As if he wants to put brief stories of ordinary intensity between brackets.

In Dylan Chatain’s images the signs of American culture get lost within big spaces, such as the tiny McDonald sign drowned in a romantic landscape at sunset or the flapping American flag swallowed in a dense and scary obscurity.

The traces of his own country are often present in his photographs but always with a light touch and with no rhetoric eg. the photograph of Kennedy placed in a corner, or the house where Ronald Regan was born.

Tim Davis’s clever eye plays with reflections of neon signs all over America. At first glance its hard to see what is hidden behind the tranquil suburban dwellings but with a second look we notice the reverberations of the neon signs on the windows. With his photographs Davis puts the anonymity of these signs in juxtaposition with the intimacy of private houses, almost as if he wanted to point a finger at the fine line which exists between social life and quiet domesticity, between a frenetic, anonymous outside world with the tranquillity and familiarity of inside.

Melanie Enzig’s eye is much more instant. She captures fragments of the American society as it grows. She has a journalistic style which focuses on the fleeting moment that provides a link between past and present, such as the portrait taken, as so many before it, in front of Mount Rushmore, or the typically American cashiers in the supermarket, crowded beaches or the New York subway.

Gus Powell portrays the life going on around him. His photographs of speedy passersby call to mind the beginning of Woody Allen’s film Manhattan. Closed visions portraying faces, expressions and bodies around New York alternate with the expansive photographs such as that of the Statue of Liberty which through the fog looks as if it is suspended in nothing.

Jonathan Quinn focuses his lens on a typical American lunch. His portraits have an expressionist angle which reveal the small details of the pulsing American way of life. As if in a film sequence, Quinn describes the anonymous but personal story of American men eating, reading, talking or simply thinking at their usual restaurant tables.

Christina Seeley’s landscapes make a distinct statement, being long range portraits of American cities. The result is a series of expansive yet personal visions. In her portraits, mostly taken at night or night fall, she seems to sum up the hopes and illusions of 1000s of Americans. Infinite visions difficult to collate if not in such a strongly poetic and suggestive manner.

Curated by Elena Bordignon


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