Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford - September 22 - December 30 2007
Roger Ballen, Frank Breuer, Lucinda Devlin, Cecilia Edefalk, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Spencer Finch, On Kawara, Jonathan Monk, Arnold Odermatt, Joe Ovelman, Ed Ruscha, Charles Sandison, Malick Sidibé, Miroslav Tichy, and Eugene Von Bruenchenhein.
again is curated by Ash Anderson and Steven Holmes and features work by fifteen artists drawn from a 2004 gift of 125 photographs to the Atheneum from Mickey Cartin together with works from the Cartin Collection. It investigates artists’ use of duplication and repetition to explore single subjects or ideas. International and intergenerational in scope, the artists included in this exhibition come from diverse backgrounds as practitioners. Most of these artists would identify themselves as photographers, but the exhibition also includes painting, single-channel video, installation and books.
Works by On Kawara, Ed Ruscha, Hans-Peter Feldman and Jonathan Monk anchor the central premise of again by looking at serial processes as they are articulated across media, culture, and the last 35 years of contemporary art. Works by Arnold Odermatt, Lucinda Devlin, Joe Ovelman, Frank Breuer and Malike Sidibé evoke the ‘documentary’ tradition in photography, the classic use of the camera to dispassionately record and order subjects as varied as execution chambers, industrial parks, car crashes or passersby. This work draws its power from repetition rather than selection, in that the more examples of a subject that one can record, the less important any individual image becomes within the whole. Meaning is accumulated, accrued, aggregated. Works by artists such as Spencer Finch or Charles Sandison address time itself, allowing one to perceive what otherwise would remain real, but difficult to perceive. In each work within the exhibition, the word again resonates- sometimes quietly as in the case of the small paintings by Cecila Edefalk, sometimes with wit, as in the case of Jonathan Monk, and sometimes, in the case of On Kawara, with exquisite faithfulness.