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Indepth Arts News:

"Relative Positions"
2001-10-19 until 2001-12-09
Contemporary Arts Museum Houston
Houston, TX, USA

The work of many artists of the 1980s questioned photography's seeming objectivity and its role as a reporter of the establishment. In the 1990s, artists explored photography's processes and how its images were viewed and interpreted by the public. Most recently, artists working in this media have taken a stronger turn away from naturalism or a diaristic intent.

Often embracing cinematic strategies, they have reinterpreted personal or public narratives and the relationship of the viewer to the subject by their use of fictional narratives or paradoxical subjects. Relative Positions explores the work of three artists who have contributed unique and innovative photographs to the conceptual and artistic premises of these recent developments.

The exhibition forms a dialogue among the photographs of Amy Adler, Liza May Post, and Francesca Woodman. All three operate on the boundaries of photography as document, fiction, or theater. Coming from diverse backgrounds and employing disparate strategies, they investigate the conceptual, psychological, and narrative aspects of representation. They combine photography with other media in order to disrupt the conventions that surround our conceptual and visual reception of images. Adler, Post, and Woodman also share an interest in performance art and pose the human figure in ways that challenge our assumptions and perceptions about the subjects of their work.

Los Angeles artist Amy Adler (b. 1966) employs images that are photographs of her own pastel drawings, which, in turn, are based on photographic portraits the artist has either found or taken. This process of the remaking of a picture, the fusion of the two media, and of the shift in the perspective from which the subject is represented, introduces a complex progression of content to the viewer. Adler's most recent work is characterized by sequences of images of the artist writing, reading, or speaking, and adds a new layer to her investigation of the representation of the self.


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