(click on the name to view the work)

"It is possible to create any picture a person imagines." -Les Krims
"When I lie, I am closer to the truth than documentary photography." -Tono Stano

Staged photography is born out of boredom or dissatisfaction with the world. The photographer wants to see the world as a place where anything is possible-a place full of more beauty, more meaning, more play, more symbolism. In the face of Communism, these Czech and Slovak artists were escapists and surrealists-dreaming themselves into other realities and making photographic documents of them. Some of them say they are making pataphysical theatre--theatre of the absurd performed for the camera.
"Pataphysics is the science of imaginary solutions?and will describe a universe which can be--and perhaps should be--envisaged in the place of the traditional one." -Alfred Jarry

Staged photography is one of the most creative uses of the medium. Everything comes from the mind of the artist and has to be constructed to be photographed-especially for those working in the studio who begin with a blank slate (there are no references to time or place). Because of the way the artists work, this kind of photography has ties to theatre and dance, sculpture, "happenings," and literature. Photography is particularly well suited to producing narrative fictions because on some level we believe in them, and because they are always out of context-the viewer is invited to weave the "before" and "after" sections of the story themselves. In this way the artists are full of trust and openness-they ask you to engage with them, to follow them into their secret worlds. Even though each of these artists has a distinctive voice, they have many common goals-for instance they are interested in the human condition and our relationship to the landscape. Even at their most absurd or whimsical, they are searching for something honest, something that touches us all. They are truly alchemists-standing in the dark, swirling chemicals, searching for the philosopher's stone-not to turn one metal into another, but to make the soul a more perfect vehicle for divine wisdom.
"In all cases we are being shown glimpses and visions of worlds that are hardly consonant with what most people think to be their everyday perceptions. Yet the medium through which they are proffered records visually persuasive evidence that, if only for an instant and only by contrivance, those worlds did, and do, and can, exist. It would be well to remember that the subversion of expectations is one of the key tactics in all of contemporary art." -A.D. Coleman

A.D Coleman's Web Site
The Nearby Caf?
http://nearbycafe.com/


Aperture magazine, 1998, 79 pages, 6 essays, $25, $5 shipping, $10 international
US:
International:


For further information regarding any of the artists within this exhibition,
contact Anne Arden McDonald at anne@anneardenmcdonald.com.









visit curator's site



http://www.sfpdesign.com





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