19 noviembre 2011

Caleb Charland's photographs evoke the curiosity of scientific experimentation

Caleb Charland's photographs offer a series of playful experiments in the laws of physics, often involving constructions and manipulations of light and the tools for making it. Inspired by children's books of science experiments and using everyday tools (like matches, compasses, hairdryers and aluminum foil), Charland seeks to answer the questions "Is this possible?" and "How would that look?"

In "Solid, Liquid, Gas," for example, three similar glass-tumbler shapes are positioned on a film of water. One glass is filled with a separation of water, oil and alcohol. Another, overturned, contains an extinguished candle which, having burned up the oxygen inside the vessel, created a vacuum that sucked water inside -- an old classroom experiment demonstrating atmospheric pressure. The third vessel, also overturned, is composed of ice cast from one of the glasses.

The work is part of Proof: Photographs by Caleb Charland, an exhibit of newer photographs at the Silver Eye Center. The exhibit commemorates Charland's selection for the Silver Eye Fellowship; the artist was chosen for the honor from among hundreds of competitors by Katherine Ware, curator of photographs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Charland, from Brewer, Me., came to this work after college. Not yet feeling ready for graduate study, he undertook a medical radiography program, taking lessons in physics and mathematics.

Proof consists of 17 black-and-white still-life images, rich Selenium-toned silver-gelatin prints, made using a 4-by-5-inch camera. Each work measures approximately 20 by 24 inches, the objects depicted larger than life. Most of the experiments sit or balance on a simple table edge that underlines the horizontal composition, and are often set against a plain background.

The strong horizontal composition and quiet, exploratory feel of a photograph like "Solid, Liquid, Gas" can recall the work of noted early-20th-century artist Giorgio Morandi, whose subtle still-life paintings also often feature glass vessels and are arranged along the horizontal plane. As with Morandi, these photographs suggest a feeling of honesty, echoing Morandi's repeated attempts to explore reality through the familiar. This link is emphasized in the sense the photographs give of "trying to do something over a long period of time."

"Three Jars," for example, was made with an exposure time of four hours. Three glass containers of differing sizes demonstrate the buoyancy effects of salt in water by floating one within the other. The innermost container is filled with glow-in-the-dark paint, which illuminates the rich, dark image.

"Fifteen Hours," meanwhile, uses 15 exposures to depict the flame of a dinner candle as it burns down. The stages of the candle's history are shown in a ghostly arc of time: As the candle broadens at its middle, the differences in height between the exposures become shallower. The ruler employed to measure how each candle "sitting" was placed remains at the fore of the image; its presence opens the work to the viewer and expresses enjoyment at the way the image was constructed.

Silver Eye's second gallery features an interesting balance to Charland's investigations: works by 10 photographers who received honorable mention in the Fellowship contest. Adam Davies' chromogenic print "U.S. 81, Wyoming" depicts abandoned cars on a roadside hill, the broad landscape marked by lines of telegraph poles and fences. Rita Bernstein's "Joanna, Age 16" uses silver emulsion on roughly torn Japanese gampi paper, giving a sense of memory and history to the depiction of a girl, who in strong foreshortening lies on the same plane as the camera, tendrils of hair splayed. Lydia Panas' chromogenic print "Invisible" is a psychological study of four young girls against an autumn background -- each staring at the camera, her eyes full of insolence and inquiry.

Proof: Photographs by Caleb Charland continues through Feb. 2. The Silver Eye Center for Photography, 1015 East Carson St. 412-431-1810 or www.silvereye.org


16 noviembre 2011

'Demonstrations'. Fotografías de Caleb Charland -

La Galería Rita Castellote presenta por primera vez en España una exposición individual de Caleb Charland (Maine, E.E.U.U.). 
Bajo el simple nombre “Demonstrations” (Demostraciones), Charland nos presenta una serie de fotografías que nos devuelven a la infancia, a la investigación, a la curiosidad del laboratorio de garaje. A modo casi enciclopédico nos presenta una serie de experimentos que revelan la magia de la Física. El resultado: una serie de fotografías que desbordan de belleza a la vez que nos hipnotizan con su misterio. Como él mismos afirma, “nos permite sentir lo extraordinario en lo cotidiano”.

Caleb Charland creció en Maine, en el interior de EEUU, ayudando a su padre a remodelar su casa familiar. Estas experiencias incentivaron una toma de conciencia sobre el potencial uso de materiales y la habilidad para fabricar sus visiones. Charland se graduó con honores en 2004 en el Massachusetts College of Art. Actualmente vive y trabaja en Maine y reconoce varias fuentes de inspiración para su trabajo incluyendo libros de experimentos científicos para niños, E.J. Marey, Fishli & Weiss, Jasper Johns and Tom Friedman.
“Demonstrations” combina mi curiosidad científica con un acercamiento constructivo hacia la creación de imágenes. 
Utilizo objetos cotidianos y fuerzas fundamentales para ilustrar mi propia experiencia con el asombro. Cada pieza comienza con una simple pregunta (¿Cómo puede quedar? …¿Es esto posible?... ¿Qué pasaría si…?) y se desarrolla a través de un proceso de experimentación. Estableciendo parámetros físicos primero descubro el potencial visual de cada idea. Esto permite a las propiedades naturales del material escogido informar sobre mis decisiones estéticas ya que construyo estos escenarios para revelar el fenómeno.

'Demonstrations'. Fotografías de Caleb Charland - Rita Castellote - Arte en la Red

'Demonstrations'. Fotografías de Caleb Charland - Rita Castellote - Arte en la Red