|curator's statement||february 2008 selection|
l o o k i n g u p l y r i c s
c u r a t o r : b e c c a a l b e e
I approached the Frank Moore Archive Project knowing the first slide I was going to pull.
That slide was of a piece by Robert Blanchon. Robert was my professor during my first semester of graduate school; he had a profound influence on my work. He described Haphazard as "every photograph I ever took." This piece has questionable believability -- it provides us with evidence (990 Plexi boxes with photographs presented inside each box) coupled with his word. Believability is a consistent consideration in photography, but in this piece it is the definition rather than the content of the photographs that I happily questioned. The self-archiving and the mini-vignettes that occur haphazardly are also points of inspiration to consider. So with that, Haphazard became the first (and second) slide.
From A to Z and then Z to A, I combed the Archive and pulled slides that could build off of each other formally and conceptually. The process was like making a mix tape with someone else's record collection. When making a mix tape I pull all possible records, more than necessary, and then build my tape in a linear fashion, song by song, considering each song sonically and by its subject matter. With my web gallery the same was true: I selected far too many slides including old favorites, unknown works by old favorites, and newly discovered favorites. The editing came down to sequencing: which piece works after the previous piece, repeat until slide #20. End.
The sequence design ended up taking shape as a transition from the concrete to the ephemeral. It begins with the solid, where the photograph is presented as an object and as evidence: cubes, grids, and lines. The pieces then shift to those which alter the object: the removal/obscuring of the body; next the content of the photographs turns to that of objects: markers of time, skeletal architecture, negatives, notebook pages and finally a photograph of a fragmented letter constructed into a puzzle. Flip the tape. The pieces now enter the transitory and the sublime: smoke, particles, pixels, sky, water, and dust. The last work in the sequence connects back to the first with a piece that both illustrates and spells out its content.
This selection of striking photographs, documentation of performances, sculptures, collage and paintings feels appropriately viewed in the non-physical web gallery space. The process of making a mix tape is intuitive, requires the love of certain songs (or in this case artwork) and provides a chance to interact with the creative work of others. It is only complete once shared and experienced by another. So, here is the play list:
looking up lyrics
I want to take this opportunity to thank Nelson Santos and Amy Sadao. Also, Visual AIDS published a book of Robert Blanchon's work that I highly recommend checking out.
b i o g r a p h y
Becca Albee is an artist living and working in Brooklyn, NY. Her work has been featured in exhibitions including those at the Bronx Museum, Bronx, NY; Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, NY; Silo, New York, NY; China Art Objects Galleries, Los Angeles, CA; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; and Lump Gallery and Projects, Raleigh, NC. Her work has also been featured in publications including North Drive Press and Textfield. In the 1990s she was active in the Northwest independent music community where she was in the band Excuse 17. She attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and received her MFA from UNC-Chapel Hill. Albee is currently an Assistant Professor of Art teaching photography in the Art Department and Electronic Design and Multimedia Program at The City College of New York, CUNY.