Curated by Renny Pritikin
Steve Goldband & Ellen Konar
Saturday July 20, 2013
2pm to 5pm
Saturday July 20, 2013
A BAPC group exhibition at PHOTO, 473 25th Street, Oakland, CA 94612
I once heard an anecdote about an aspiring young movie maker meeting an elderly John Ford—the great and notoriously difficult American director—in his office. Ford told the visitor to look at the three photographs on his wall—all of them were stills from Ford’s films.
“Look at the horizon line and figure out why it’s placed where it is. That’s all I’ll tell you,” said Ford.
After initially viewing the BAPC archive I found a great many images in the works to which I was most drawn that had a dynamic horizontal element that dominated and defined the work. Sometimes it was literally the natural horizon, but other times it was in the built environment, or followed the natural horizon but obscured it. I invited submissions of work that addressed this idea, in the spirit of Ford’s anecdote, which I understand to mean that form and content are inextricable, that formal choices have crucial narrative ramifications.
I’m quite tickled by this final selected ensemble. I think it’s a lot of fun, and far from being a room full of uniformly bisected pictures. There’s terrific humor, and a lot of variety, reflecting the maker’s personality despite the formal nature of the theme. Thomas Lavin’s painted wall with the grassy illusion was one of the pieces that inspired the show, and I was also pleased to include his hilarious drunken mobile homes. Ellen Konar and Steve Goldband’s stunning image of a line of media lights (and scarily illuminated faces) is the epitome of the manmade horizon. Ari Salomon’s panoramic embodies the nightmarish beauty of our impact on the world. Irene Imfeld’s bathtub wave achieves true strangeness with straightforward materials, as do Jack Androvich’s eye-confusing works and Anthony Delgado’s sad little lost island. Erin Malone depicts nature obscuring human construction obscuring nature. Gary Weiner, Heather Polley and Adrienne Defendi similarly explore the visual dance between the human and the natural. Steve Epstein offers two hilarious, classic images.
Ford may have meant that the horizon line compresses or expands the balance of human versus nature. In Reconsidering the Horizon, my intention is to celebrate our apparently endless capacity to juxtapose the built world and the found world within the rigid confines of the rectangular cell.