Expecting Reality

Matthew Gamber, Meggan Gould, John Lehr, Chris Meerdo, Justin James Reed, Bill Sullivan

March 7, 2014 – March 29, 2014

Please click here to view a PDF of the exhibition card.

Expecting Reality

As a professor my students and I are always questioning the nature of photography and the reality it is supposed to reflect.

In the era of digital manipulation when does an image cease to be a photograph and become something else?

Photography means "light writing" in greek, but isn’t it really light tracing—a copy where we were expecting reality? Does a photograph summarize an event; so can a photograph of a laser disk summarize the movie held in its binary code? If photographs are now made of pixels, can a wall of pixels be a photograph? How does the camera itself influence the making of photographic reality, can the framing device of the machine itself be highlighted as something worthy to look at, can we then imagine all the reality (art, personal and political history) that particular device might have created? And even when photographs describe the world in impossible detail, it is always flat, a veneer of space.  Photographs are always a reduction they are always an abstraction. 

What is another essential quality of “photography”? 

The endless archive: even before there were billions of photos a day, these fragments of time accumulated in every nook and cranny of society.  What happens when the photographer stops making their own images, and instead pulls from these libraries? What new meanings can be created by the rearrangement of these fragments?

- Guest Curator, Jon-Phillip Sheridan

Exhibition Sponsors

Sandra & John Higgins and an anonymous donor
with additional support from the 6th Annual Men's Benefit Dinner