“Retro-Spective: Analog Photography in a Digital World” opens as the featured exhibition at MOCA Jacksonville, a cultural institute of UNF, on September 24, 2016. The exhibition runs until January 8, 2017. “Retro-spective” presents how contemporary artists continue to engage in the physical process of photography. The resulting images celebrate analog photography and challenge viewers to see the medium in a renewed light.
“Retro-Spective” features the works of photographers Matthew Brandt (Los Angeles, CA), Adam Fuss (New York, NY), Richard Learoyd (London, England), Christian Marclay (London, England), Chris McCaw (Pacifica, CA), Alison Rossiter (New York, NY), Joni Sternbach (New York, NY), and James Welling (Los Angeles, CA). Each of these photographers share a passion for analog photography. That passion has led them to explore and play with analog processes and materials while the world around them is in the midst of a digital boom.
Matthew Brandt’s contribution to the exhibition is a series titled “Dust.” As an MFA student at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2006, Brandt studied with James Welling, another photographer featured in “Retro-spective.” For this series, Brandt searched public libraries for archival photographs of now demolished buildings. Brandt conducted site visits to collect organic materials from the locations depicted in the photographs. Using 19th century processes, Brandt incorporated the organic materials as a pigment in his handmade emulsion. He then coated paper in the emulsion so the images could emerge on the paper from large scale negatives.
Alison Rossiter’s contribution to “Retro-spective” is a series of cameraless abstract photographs. Rossiter’s creative process relies on activating unused and expired photographic paper by exposing it to liquid developer. Rossiter implements different methods of applying the liquid developer to produce different results, some of which appear as eerie landscape-esque images. Alison’s images are named after the photographic paper she uses, and include: “Eastman Kodak Kodabromide,” “Fuji Gaslight,” and “Kilborn Acme Kruxo.”
Alison Rossiter will be attending Thursday, September 22nd’s patrons’ preview of “Retro-spective.” She will also be appearing on WJCT‘s “First Coast Connect” with Melissa Ross on Friday, September 23rd.
Christian Marclay is a visual artist and composer who explores the juxtaposition of sound recording, photography, video, and film. His work illustrates his interest in how sound is visualized. In 2008, Marclay embarked on a new series of unique cyanotypes, a photogram technique in which a photographic image is produced without a camera. This is achieved by placing objects directly onto the surface of a light-sensitive material. Iron salts oxidize during the developing stage, which turns the images a deep blue as they dry.
Chris McCaw constructs his own large format cameras and works with vintage gelatin silver photo paper. His cameras are equipped with multiple optics set to different aperture levels. Long exposures, sometimes up to twenty-four hours in length, allow the sun’s light to expose directly onto the paper. Depending upon the aperture, the paper can be burned by the light thus resulting in the beautiful mixture of both creation and destruction.
Be certain to visit the third floor of MOCA to see all the photographers and their works on exhibit as part of “Retro-spective.” Museum hours are 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Tuesday through Saturday and 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM on Sundays. The museum is also open from 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM on Thursday evenings, plus the first Wednesday of every month.
Upcoming events related to “Retro-spective”:
Thursday, September 22, 6-8 PM: Patrons’ Review – By invitation only
Friday, September 23, 6-8 PM: Members’ Preview – Members only
Saturday, October 1, 7-8:30 PM: “What’s a Cyanotype?” – UNF Associate Professor Paul Karabinis demonstrates the historical photographic process – $10 per person
Thursday, October 20, 7-8:30 PM: “Art and Ideas: Joni Sternbach” – Artist Joni Sternbach speaks about her ongoing investigation of surfing culture and the nineteenth century tintype photographic technique.
Thursday, November 3, 7-8 PM: Gallery talk with Paul Karabinis – Discussion on the laborious techniques involved in making the pictures featured in “Retro-spective.”
Thursday, November 17, 7-8 PM: Third Thursday Tour – Led by Museum educator and free with admission
Thursday, December 1, 2-3 PM: MOCA Book Club: What is a Photograph? – Tour of “Retro-spective” and book discission
Looking for an interesting read? I recommend “The ABCs of LED” written by MOCA’s Preparator, Jonathan Duck. In his article, Duck elaborates on how ultraviolet lights can destroy or degrade artwork. Duck discusses the benefits of LED lighting and touches base on other lighting challenges unique to museums and galleries.
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