Living High, Letting Die is an image-based project set in Mies van der Rohe’s Social Service Administration Library in Chicago’s Hyde Park. Through large-format photographs and a short film, the project tracks an impossible camera position as it circumnavigates the space. Following the visual logic of the grid, the camera intersects the libraries’ holdings, volumes bound together under the premise of social service. While the architecture orients an iconic atmosphere, a language of illness pervades the library catalog. This apparent ambivalence becomes the ground for a fragmented text, excerpted from the library stacks. Through photographic stillness, levitation, and a text repurposed from books whose titles imply relevance for both the clinical and optical realm, Living High, Letting Die shapes a slow meditation on oblique fantasies underlying objective vernacular, be it photographic, architectural, or clinical.
The titles of each image give you an idea of the action that is taking place, but the complete story is left to the imagination. It’s an interesting twist on scientific experimentation, where normally the idea is to make sure every variable is precisely accounted for. Charland’s photos take the data out of the equation, and leave you only with impressions of the physical interaction taking place.
When you stand on the shoulders of giants, what do you see — especially if you’re looking through an old Leica M6 rangefinder with a single, well-traveled, 35-millimeter lens, which, over a quarter of a century, has seen a lot?
What the photographer Peter Kayafas sees are roadside curiosities, families in their Sunday-go-to-meetin’ clothes, abandoned buildings, rusty vehicles and other details of America’s urban, rural and psychic landscapes. His latest exhibition, The Way West, is now on view at Sasha Wolf Gallery on Manhattan’s Lower East Side (through June 15).
Kayafas, who will soon turn 43, was born in Boston and brought up in nearby Concord. In addition to being an astute artist, he is also an educator and publisher (he is director of the Eakins Press Foundation, a non-profit organization that produces books on art-and-culture themes). In a recent interview at his home in Manhattan, he said, “I was lucky; Concord’s public schools were very good. Growing up, I learned to swim in Walden Pond and I rode my bike past the graves of Thoreau, Emerson, Alcott and Nathaniel Hawthorne.” As a youngster he absorbed — and embraced — the outlook those historical American figures had helped shape.
Adam Katseff’s photograph’s from, “In the Course of Time” in Seph Rodney’s article for Artillery Magazine.
Christine Osinski’s work can be seen in “New York (Outer Borough) Stories” on display along the Water Street Corridor in Lower Manhattan. The installation is part of the NYC D.O.T. Urban Art Program in collaboration with United Photo Industries. The installation will be on display over the next six months.