Since the invention of photography in the early 19th century, we have come to rely on the camera’s ability to record an accurate account of the appearance of the world around us. Unfamiliar Realities however, provides an opportunity for viewers to explore the ways in which photographers have exploited the particular characteristics of the medium to reframe, manipulate, or reimagine the world as captured by the lens. The artists in this exhibition propose new, unfamiliar realities in order to challenge our assumptions, urge us to contemplate visual paradoxes, or delight us in flights of fantasy and form. Well-known photographers including Minor White, Wynn Bullock, and Michael Kenna, create formally compelling images from everyday life that provoke metaphysical or psychological import. Others, such as Robert and Shana ParkeHarison, Patrick Nagatani, and Jerry Ueslmann, utilize photographic manipulation and studio techniques to create stunning, often surrealist-derived pictures.
Michael Kenna, Docking Poles, Venice, Italy, 1980, Gelatin silver print, SN11310.149