Now on view at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago is PhotoDimensional. The Exhibition features Works by John Coplans, Katalin Deer, Leslie Hewitt, Bettina Hoffmann, Pello Irazu, David Ireland, Melinda McDaniel, Heather Mekkelson, Laurent Millet, Vik Muniz, Susana Reisman, Lorna Simpson, and Florian Slotowa.
The exhibition features works by contemporary artists who investigate the relationship between sculpture and photography, between two and three dimensions, and explore perceptual issues intrinsic to those relationships. Their works resist the notion that the world simply gets folded into the two-dimensional surface of the photograph. As a result, their works are almost always layered, with subjects translated in ways that invite one to imagine passing from the experience of one dimension to another, and sometimes back again. Thus, perceiving their works provokes feelings of unsettledness, a wavering between seeing and knowing in our minds, a tension that becomes an engaging condition of their artwork.
Highlights amongst the myriad of works on view are, Melinda McDaniel (American, b. 1978) and Susana Reisman’s (Venezuelan/Italian, b. 1977) offerings. Both make sculptures out of photographic materials. Reisman prints photographs onto long strips of canvas and molds the strips into forms that allude to the photograph’s original subject matter. McDaniel places strips of photographic paper outside for days at a time to achieve varying degrees of exposure and imprints of weather, revealing the subtle color gradations inherent in the paper’s chemistry. She then exhibits the uniformly shaped strips in the gallery in a deliberate, regimented manner that recalls minimalist sculpture and creates a tension with the random, abstract patterns of the weather marks on the paper.