JULY 2–AUGUST 2, 2012
Light & Wire Gallery presents a series of twenty-five photographs by Rashell George titled Message in a Bottle (for Hiroshi Sugimoto). George duplicates the formal structure and format of Hiroshi Sugimoto’s Seascapes creating a dialogue that responds from a different location, era, and cultural point of view. Beginning in Los Angeles, California the photos are part of a year-long project in various locations across the pacific, from New Zealand, Australia, Singapore and Japan.
In the 1980s, Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugimoto created a series of photographs called Seascapes. They were large-format, black and white compositions, split in half by vast horizon lines of atmosphere or water. Sugimoto’s photos are striking for their depiction of a potent stasis, of nature untouched, directing the human gaze onto the most vouchsafe elements of human life: water and air.
With so much art attempting to reflect on pristine landscapes, George’s photos use subtle strategies to capture the impurities that obscure a perfect view. Where Sugimoto’s photos are restrained in their formal use of black and white to the point of abstraction, George responds with an unabashed use of color that adds an element of drama, vulgarity, or even kitsch. She allows the viewer to imbibe the image of a quintessential sunset/sunrise before obfuscating the scene with various techniques of clutter, agitation, or depth of field. The collection of photographs represent the inherent qualities of polluted atmospheres and fragile ecosystems that commingle with our delicate existence, suggesting that idilic notions of our world are rarely possible any longer.