Ida Weygandt - Walking Home

also on exhibit: works by Elliott Kaufman & Kelly Shimoda

Opening reception: Saturday, March 13 from 6 to 8pm

March 11, 2010 through April 18, 2010

Carrie Haddad Photographs is pleased to announce, Walking Home, an exhibition of photographs by Ida Weygandt, which will be on view from March 11, 2010 through April 18, 2010. Also featured in the gallery will be work by Elliott Kaufman and Kelly Shimoda. This is Kaufman and Shimoda’s first exhibit with the gallery. There will be an opening reception for the artists on Saturday, March 13, from 6 pm to 8 pm.

In the large format photographs presented in this exhibit, Ida Weygandt uses the landscape to expand on her themes of interior world aligning with exterior, of the interconnection between nature and self and the concept of home. “My interaction with the landscape has always been very strong,” Weygandt says. “I am always absorbing the elements around me.”

And, in turn, the elements absorb her, taking her in, making her at home. In some of the photographs Weygandt herself appears, tucked into the foliage or brush, as with the figure we see reaching into the bramble, in The Thicket. In Apple Grove, she stands almost hidden, with head tilted upwards, the blue of her shirt peaking out from the surrounding goldenrod. She hugs an empty basket to her hip; the tree she contemplates is bare. We sense she has a purpose and we wonder about her next move.

Whether or not she physically appears as a component in the landscapes, Weygandt uses texture and light to reflect and enlarge on the wider landscape she sees. Each image, with or without the figure, is about both interior and exterior, the self and the land. Her images confront uncertainty or comfort with precision and composure, allowing the viewer to walk in, as she does, and experience the space with her.

Weygandt’s recent images of the Atchafalaya River Basin in south central Louisiana, continue to explore natural habitats facing some kind of threat. Seeking out a different landscape – a water driven territory rather than her more familiar land oriented environments – and drawn to a place that has so changed in the last decade, where so much has been extracted from it and so little returned, Weygandt traveled with her camera to the Atchafalaya - the largest river basin swamp in North America, wanting to capture this great natural resource, even as it is quickly disappearing.

On her walks through these various landscapes, Weygandt immediately begins plotting her return. With her following visit, she is back out in the land accompanied by her large format camera, knowing ahead of time how she will be part of the composition. But what she's never quite sure of is whether or not the land will be the same once she arrives.

Elliott Kaufman’s photographs on the passage of time encompass many of the same aspects as his architectural photography. Specifically the observation of light and how the environment, whether built or natural, is altered by the movement of light. When photographing buildings, Kaufman has always been captivated by the drama of the sun’s effect on each shot. He anticipates exactly what the sun will do when it reaches a certain angle and how it will affect and inform his photograph. Kaufman estimates he has spent a great many hours of his professional life on these calculations and on capturing the certain effect or quality of light particular to that moment.

The series of images here provided Kaufman with the opportunity of working with these concepts in the abstract of time. The original sources are what we see – sky and water. Kaufman sets up a static camera shot, sometimes for 3-4 days or sometimes just a few hours at intervals of every one second to every hour, depending on the view and dynamic movement of the scene. He is dependent on cooperative weather patterns and often rewarded with remarkable surprises.

For Kaufman, pursuing this type of imagery is not something he would have thought to do with the many analog camera formats he has used in the past. Certainly, the extent to which these types of images can be constructed owe much to the advent of digital photography. Intervalometers, devices that count intervals of time, are often included into the mechanics of modern cameras. The thousands of recorded images are loaded into software and assembled. Kaufman has one assemblage that is 3960 images; some have taken 20 hours to load.

Kaufman sees the rhythms of architecture as influential to his imagery of time. A number of other artists have led him in this direction, including the Bauhaus and the association of media which they pioneered, the 1977 film Powers Of Ten, written and directed by Ray Eames and her husband Charles Eames, which depicts the relative scale of the universe in factors of ten, Mike Figgis’ experimental film Timecode, as well as the multiple sequences of photographers Harry Callahan, Ray K. Metzger and Eadweard Muybridge.

Kelly Shimoda’s photographic series, I guess you don’t want to talk to me anymore, is a documentation of mobile phone text messages by and to people she has encountered – both those familiar to her and strangers. The 8 x 10 inch images provide the viewer an intimate look at this form of communication that is fleeting by design and rarely seen by anyone other than the original author or intended recipient.

For many, texting has become a way to avoid the most uncomfortable parts of face-to-face interaction or even talking on the telephone. They often feel liberated to spontaneously communicate intimate and revealing thoughts, but by being forced to encapsulate those thoughts in a mere 160 characters, the best messages read like haiku poems – brief, but full of meaning.

In the end, these enigmatic photographs ask as many questions as they answer, and force the viewer/reader to reflect and draw upon his or her own experience to make sense of them, ultimately pointing to the fundamentally fragile nature of human communication.

Ida Weygandt

Elliott Kaufman