30 Jul LIES
Image by Karin Kempe, Uphill (detail)
AUGUST 31 – OCTOBER 6, 2018
Juror: Richard McCabe, Curator of Photography, Ogden Museum of Art
Opening Reception with Juror: Friday, August 31, 2018 (6 – 9 pm)
Location: COLORADO PHOTOGRAPHIC ARTS CENTER (1070 BANNOCK ST, DENVER, CO 80204)
The Colorado Photographic Arts Center presents Lies, a juried exhibition that explores the art of deception through the lenses of ten contemporary photographers. The public is invited to meet the artists and hear remarks by juror Richard McCabe, Curator of Photography at the Ogden Museum of Art, at a free opening reception on August 31.
Alpert + Kahn (Colorado), Michael Borowski (Virginia), Annette Burke (California), Thomas Carr (Colorado), Mark Dolce (Colorado), Shelli Foth (Colorado), Karin Kempe (Colorado), Meghan Kirkwood (Minnesota), Andy Mattern (Oklahoma), and Paul Stein (Colorado).
About the Exhibition
Photography has a complex relationship with the truth. “The camera is a machine designed to accurately capture the real world in fine detail,” writes juror Richard McCabe. Yet since its invention in the 1800s, photographers have found ways to manipulate the camera’s ability to capture reality through optical tricks, darkroom processes, staged scenery, and other means. Today, thanks to software programs such as Photoshop, Lightroom, and Instagram, “the tools available for photographers to undermine the inherent truth of the photographic image are seemingly endless,” he said.
In Lies, McCabe has selected 29 pieces by ten photographers who “create work that blurs the lines between the real and unreal, fact and fiction, myth and reality. Rejecting a straight modernist approach to photography, this collection of image-makers pushes the boundaries of photographic purity by creating photographs that challenge the camera’s ability to objectively render reality. Lies is a timely exhibition that explores the camera’s changing role in an age where the validity of almost every photograph is in question.”
The theme of “lies” resonates on a broader scale as well, said CPAC Executive Director Samantha Johnston. “With claims of fake news and polarizing viewpoints shaping our current culture, we thought it would be a fascinating time to invite artists from across the country to explore this theme and the effects of misinformation on society,” she said.
The camera is a machine designed to accurately capture the real world in fine detail. In the 1860s, the camera and its product – the photograph – supplanted painting as the visual medium most capable of replicating the 3-dimensional world in a 2-dimensional form. Yet, since the invention of the photographic process, the camera’s inherent ability to reproduce reality has been subverted by photographers and artists through technical and conceptual manipulation. The manipulation of the photographic process has been expressed in many ways – from optical trickery and darkroom manipulation to staged scenes or constructed photographs. Today, the tools available for photographers to undermine the inherent truth of the photographic image are seemingly endless through digital and computer technologies and design software programs such as Photoshop and Lightroom.
The Lies exhibition features the work of ten contemporary photographers whose practices address the idea of truth in photography. With their cameras and computers, these photographers create work that blurs the lines between the real and unreal, fact and fiction, myth and reality. Rejecting a straight modernist approach to photography, this collection of image-makers push the boundaries of photographic purity by creating photographs that challenge the camera’s ability to objectively render reality. Lies is a timely exhibition that explores the camera’s changing role in an age where the validity of almost every photograph is in question.
Richard McCabe, Curator of Photography
Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans
About Richard McCabe
McCabe has worked within the curatorial department of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art since 2005 and was named its curator of photography in 2010. He has curated over 25 exhibitions, including Seeing Beyond the Ordinary, The Mythology of Florida, Contemporary Alabama Photography, The Colourful South, and Eudora Welty: Photographs from the 1930s and 40s. He is also curator of New Southern Photography, a large-scale exhibition featuring the work of 25 photographers that debuted at the Ogden in the fall of 2018 and is available for travel to other institutions through 2021.
McCabe received an MFA in Studio Art from Florida State University in 1998. That year he also received a fellowship to the American Photography Institute’s National Graduate Seminar at New York University. From 1998 to 2005 he lived in New York City where he worked for numerous art galleries and museums, including the International Center for Photography. He has also taught photography at Pratt Institute in New York City, Fairfield University in Connecticut, Montclair State University in New Jersey, and Xavier in New Orleans. His photographs, paintings, drawings, and installation art have been exhibited in numerous galleries and museums throughout the United States. In 2017, Aint – Bad press published LAND STAR, a monograph of McCabe’s photography.