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Timescapes: Earth’s Open Archive is a collection, combination, and juxtaposition of landscape images and photo-based installations, curatorially guided by art historian Hal Foster’s delineation of “archival art” as a genre. The exhibit highlights the serial intersections of archivists and researchers: planet Earth and photographer, photographer and curator, curator and viewer. Each archival interaction issues what Foster terms “promissory notes for further elaboration or enigmatic prompts for future scenarios” that serve as “found arks of lost moments in which the here-and-now of the work functions as a possible portal between an unfinished past and a reopened future.”
The archival impulse is a primal need to save something from the past for the future. An open archive shifts the burden of deciding what to save from the primary archivist to the subsequent researcher. Earth is an open archive responding to the effects of time. The landscape photographer selects points in space and time to save in a secondary archive of photographs. The curator selects what is saved for viewers in the exhibition––a tertiary archive.
Archives connect us to personal and objective history. The photo-based installations demonstrate our existential need for archival context, confronting viewers with their basic need of belonging and their own archival impulse, as well as its futility.
Featured Artists: Paula Chamlee, Lloyd Greene, Udo Greinacher, Ron Hoffman, Laura James, I. Kline, Guennadi Maslov, David Muench, J. Gordon Rodwan, Brad Austin Smith, Michael A. Smith, Michael Tittel, Matthew Zory
1215 Elm St
Cincinnati, OH 45202
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