Friday, 6 July 2007

Ridgemont Typologies

Ridgemont Typologies is an exhibition by Mark Luthringer which "examines the excess, redundancy, and meaningless freedom of our current age of consumption."

From the artist's statement:

The typological form achieves an uncanny synergy and resonance with this subject matter because it mimics the mental images I suspect many of us form as a way of ordering the chaos of abundance that surrounds us. We can’t help but form in our heads lists, groups and categories based on product, brand, price point, style, market segment, country of origin, etc.

To see one of these turned into a group of images lined up together can be unnerving, though. In print, they confront us in a way never possible when they're just in our heads. We are presented with order, and while it is often an absurd, seemingly pointless order, it is one that we recognize immediately.

On how the artist got started:

I used to be one of those photographers who, having found something I deemed worthy of photographing, set out to find and bring back various examples of it, each resulting image a distinct entity that, together with the others, formed a series...

Several years ago, at a well known photographer’s review event, I was showing a series of carefully crafted black-and-white images of decaying mid-century architecture, and a comment by one reviewer had an unintended effect. The comment was about how the forms of curb and powerline were echoed in the architecture, how lovely this was, and how the work displayed a gift of being able to harness these things. My reaction (long familiar with the work) was inner frustration with the fact that he was reading the photograph, not the subject. And while I appreciated his generosity, this time I saw also that I was being given credit for things I didn’t do, or didn’t intend to do. The more I thought about our interaction, the more I came to see that not only could I not take credit for previously existing form, I had no desire to.

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