Dice Thrown (Will Never Annul Chance), my curated show at Bellwether, opens tonight, October 12th, from 6-8pm.
“DICE THROWN (Will Never Annul Chance)”
Curated by Joao Ribas and Becky Smith
October 12th to November 11th, 2006
Opening reception October 12, 2006 6-8 pm
Bellwether is pleased to present DICE THROWN (Will Never Annul Chance), an exhibition of new currents in conceptual photography, curated by Joao Ribas and Becky Smith. The exhibition is part of a three-show series entitled The Mallarmé Propositions, which addresses several key themes in current artistic practice.
Photography has undergone two major shifts in the past few decades: the loss of its objective relationship to reality, and the medium’s increasing distance from modernism through its use in conceptual art. Recent conceptual photography has amended these two directions with a break from the way conceptual artists relegated photography to architectonic and instrumental uses, often merely to illustrate, dematerialize or record.
What results is a form of conceptual photography that approaches the medium as a poetic and expressive process. While digital technology has transformed the medium's pictorial potential, supposedly bringing it closer to the logic of painting, this new kind of photographic practice engages a conceptual space specific to the medium. “Dice Thrown (Will Never Annul Chance)” aims to contextualize a set of artists--many not yet associated with each other--that approach photography as an ideational, anti-mimetic, yet decidedly formal area of artistic practice.
Whether by treating a photograph as an instantiation of an idea or an object--rather than its surrogate--or as a distinct image-making method, this kind of photography moves beyond the notion of a photograph as illustrative, as a 'picture' of the real, or as a mere supplement for ephemeral and time-based art.
Replacing many of the traditional concerns of photographic practice, such work also confronts the reductive understanding of the medium’s role in the wake of conceptual art. With an active investment in the epistemological, socio-cultural, and material aspects of photography itself, and by intersecting it with a variety of disciplines, the artists included in “Dice Thrown (Will Never Annul Chance)” develop a diverse set of issues intrinsic to new currents in photography.
The Mallarmé Propositions follow from the poet’s declaration that “everything is summed up in Aesthetics and Political Economy.” Following “Dice Thrown (Will Never Annul Chance)” in early 2007 will be “Aspects, Forms, Figures” an exhibition focusing on the numinous as a kind of of deep formalism—-as in Marx’s claim about grotesque ideas dreamed up by commodity form—and “In Defense of Ardor,” which will propose ardor as an ethical and political imperative.
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