Altered States: Views of Transition in Recent Photography
Xing Danwen, Mori Insinger, Chris Jordan, Sze Tsung Leong, Steven Smith, and Josh Winer
January 19—April 1, 2007
Guest curator Alicia Cornwell
a companion exhibition to Edward Burtynsky: The China Series
Altered States: Views of Transition in Recent Photography, a companion exhibition to Edward Burtynsky: The China Series, presents photography by six artists who examine how the effects of industry and development in the United States and abroad are inscribed into our environment. Each artist brings a unique perspective to the changing objects and landscapes they photograph—from cityscapes to suburban sprawl, and from rock formations to recycled electronics.
Steven Smith’s black and white photographs show the development of the United States’ western suburban frontier; a blanket of fabricated houses and landscapes are carved into what was once a natural terrain. Josh Winer’s photographs of mounds of raw materials at quarries in the Northeast resemble natural landscapes but show traces of human manipulation. Mori Insinger chronicles the gentrification of Boston’s South End neighborhood and its rapidly changing skyline by regularly photographing the construction of a new residential and performing arts center. Sze Tsung Leong’s photographs of demolition and construction document the rapid erasure and rebuilding of entire cities in China. The large-scale photographs by Chris Jordan capture the unlikely formal beauty of the shipyards of the West Coast. Xing Danwen draws our attention to the detritus of mass consumption with images of e-waste and soon-to-be recycled electronic materials.
The visually alluring photographs in this exhibition expand on the themes in Edward Burtynsky: The China Series; they represent a range of views documenting the impact of progress, each of which captures how society’s cultural and industrial growth is etched in our changing surroundings.