Trial and error reveals unexpected resultsPhotography distills the flow of time into singular, still moments. The artists in this installation stop, extend, and rearrange time for their own creative ends, whether to convey personal memories, render visible overlooked aspects of nature, contemplate mortality, or document the passage of time. Through their unique approaches to capturing motion, they encourage us to look at what may and may not be in plain view.
Photographs in Focus
Hand-colored gelatin silver printLebe began making light drawings in 1976 in his small Philadelphia apartment. He left the camera shutter open for extended periods of time and drew lines in the air with a flashlight. By 1987, now in a larger studio, Lebe’s light drawings took on a grander scale. In his Scribble series, made while a friend was dying of AIDS, Lebe came to think of the graceful, animated lines as a kind of life energy representing the dead.
Dye transfer printEdgerton had a multifaceted career as a photographer, an inventor, and an engineering professor at MIT, where he developed the stroboscope, an electronic device that emits quick flashes of light. When combined with a camera, the stroboscope enabled him to document the precise movements of fast-traveling objects. Many of his experiments yielded not only scientific data but also surprisingly beautiful and imaginative compositions.
Dye diffusion printSamaras began working with Polaroid film in 1969 and used it obsessively until about 1976. He realized that since the image develops immediately after exposure he was able to directly alter the image surface. Often using his own body as subject matter, Samaras has consistently returned to photography to reinterpret the medium’s documentary form and its simultaneous capacity for fiction making.