Today marks the start of a new exhibition at Photo Center NW. In celebration of the announcement of photography’s 175th anniversary, Process displays works from 14 artists, explores some the craft’s different methodologies, and begs you to expand photography’s current definition.
“We reached out to some people who we knew had extraordinary work that fit the theme of what we were trying to show. For example, Garth Amundson and Pierre Gour do unique instillation pieces; the piece that we have in our show is a bunch of photographs that are pinned into the wall – tiny, little male heads. The instillation process itself was very labor intensive, but it shows people a different way of considering photography as a medium, rather than just having your straight, framed photograph on the wall,” Gallery Director Ann Pallesen told The Capitol Hill Times.
Another method, from contributing artist Matthew Brandt, expands on a technique that was popular from 1839 to 1860, the salt print. Included in the chemicals used in the sensitization procedure, Brandt mixes in a human element from the subject that he’s photographing. What are those human elements, you ask? Earwax, semen, spit, and menstrual fluids, to name a few.
“Of the two pieces that we have in the show, one is a subject, with his semen, and the other is a portrait of a woman, with her menstrual fluid. Those are prime examples of an extreme approach, but the pictures are also very interesting surface-wise and tactically to look at,” Pallesen said. “If you didn’t know that, you would just look at these images and think that they’re very beautiful and antiquated. They have a vintage feel to them.”
Back in the general public’s realm of comfort, Laura Plageman creates images that demand double-takes. Using photographs that she’s already taken, a simple landscape, for example, she crumples or tears the image, and re-photographs it as a still life, which adds new depth and sometimes optical illusion, like terrain trailing off where it should not.
Each of the 14 artists are worth mentioning and equally interesting, but their work is even more worthy of being seen in person. The exhibition Process will run from now through June 15. There will be an artists’ reception tonight from 6 to 8 p.m. during the Capitol Hill Artwalk, and on April 4, an artist talk with Curtis Mann.
Artists for PCNW’s Process exhibition include Garth Amundson/Pierre Gour (WA) // Matthew Brandt (CA) // Scott B. Davis (CA) // Phil Chang (CA) // Neal Fryett (WA) // Sharon Harper (MA) // Andrzej Maciejewski (Canada) // Curtis Mann (RI) // Chris McCaw (CA) // Kendall McMinimy (WI) // Laura Plageman (CA) // Charlie Rubin (NY) // Meghann Riepenhoff (CA) // Brea Souders (NY)
Photo Center NW is located at 900 12th Avenue. More images from the Process exhibition are available at www.capitolhilltimes.com.