Emerging Realities: Obscuring The Line Between The Natural and The Man-Made
The following is an excerpt from the curatorial statement that accompanied this exhibition:
“…The pivotal moment in understanding this exhibition occurs when one views Burtynsky’s dryland photographs and assumes they are retouched, only to find out they are documentary images of the natural world, and then views Gefeller’s telephone poles assuming no retouching, only to find out the image has been heavily manipulated. This moment encompasses the driving message behind Emerging Realities: Obscuring the Line Between the Natural and the Man-Made, crystallizing the extent to which technology has worked to mimic, emulate, and ultimately integrate with, the natural world. Along with this revelation come broader questions of authenticity and originality. In the age of digital manipulation and virtual realities, what characteristics determine something’s authenticity? Where is the dividing line between the natural and the man-made? In a world where technological innovation is often imperceptible at first glance, does this in some way detract from what we can consider an object’s natural or authentic state? The photographs in this exhibition, in their varying levels of faithfulness to what it is they are representing, inspire us to ask these questions and never make assumptions about what it is we are looking at or experiencing. Such a prompt is an indirect assertion of our contemporary society’s complex and evolving relationship to technology and the natural world. Through this relationship we begin to see that our previous ideas of reality and authenticity as absolute and rigid are flawed, and that what determines reality and the authentic today is still emerging—not as a lone construct but instead as a diverse entity, the boundaries of which are fluid, undefined, and always changing.”
“Emerging Realities: Obscuring the Line Between The Natural and the Man-Made” was on view from January 16 through March 30, 2012. Participating artists included Maša Bajc, Daniel Bauer, Edward Burtynsky, Jesse Chehak, Cedric Delsaux, Barry Frydlender, Andreas Gefeller, Ingo Günther, Nathan Harger, Shane Hope, Tetsugo Hyakutake, Kahn & Selesnick, Izima Kaoru, Kevin Kunstadt, David Leventi, Mark Power, Matthew Pillsbury, Björn Schülke, David Stephenson, and Youngsuk Suh. The featured image is Pathos and Irony: Industrial Still-Life in Japan 12, Tokyo, Japan by Tetsugo Hyakutake, courtesy of Alan Klotz Gallery.