Replacement Ink for Epson Printers (Black 446004) on Epson Premium Glossy Paper, 2014
unique archival pigment print
60 x 41 inches
Replacement Ink for Epson Printers
a series of 5 unique archival pigment prints
(each unique in term of ink and paper)
22 1/2 x 17 1/2 inches
Untitled (16% Gray Monochrome), 2014
unique chromogenic print
60 x 48 inches
Untitled (50% Gray Monochrome) and Untitled (16% Gray Monochrome)
Untitled (Orange Monochrome), 2014
a series of 5 unique chromogenic prints
60 x 48 inches each
Replacement Ink for Epson Printers (Red and Yellow 446001) on Epson Premium Luster Paper, 2014
unique archival pigment print
60 x 44 inches
Dark to light... Black and white to color... The color field... The arrested brush stroke... Serial repetition... All such fragments have a relationship to time abstractly in terms of movement and change and also concretely, especially as it pertains to the history of artifacts (Linda Besemer's suspended brush stroke and Roy Lichtenstein's paintings/sculptures of similar subject and concern come to mind quickly) not to mention the activity of photography in all varieties which in some sense by definition captures temporal events and transforms them into discrete moments of fixed duration both now and extended. Of course, such a photographic palette (grays and highly saturated yellows/oranges/reds) conjures James Welling more currently. So, it is with such a lens that I looked at Chang's works shown here.
Note: As with anything framed in glass, the reflections (especially at the scale of the larger works) become difficult, if not impossible to ignore. While I attempted to alleviate them with viewing angles (which is actually a nice way to push a viewer around in the space), I was less successful overall in the way that I wanted to engage them head on, and I'm not sure (in fact pretty certain) that Chang was not asking us to consider the site of reception in any integral way to the work, though the layout of the show did seem to read systematically (at least in my thinking) using the clockwise from left to right convention. Again, a thought about time in space...
More to what seems like the point of this exhibition, certainly formally as objects, is that these works are to be understood more by their technical provenance than anything else. Titles and material descriptions certainly reinforce an interest in how these photographically produced images contrast with the proliferation of online, shared digital photos (those sans palpable materiality and typically at thumbnail size) that exist elsewhere, in fact seemingly everywhere these days. And so, such a concern may then reflect even my own activities of looking, photographing, thinking, and sharing (not necessarily in that order) within this very web log. While I seem to run out of ink all the time with my printers, I never do here.
Thus, with the passage of time and material emphasis we begin to think about what this exhibition of photographic prints suggest, ones that in some sense aspire to the language of painting at least in title, of course not to exclude scale and the primacy of pigment itself. Certainly, somewhere in the process of making these, marks were made as most of these representations demonstrate. Granted, there is no tangible sense outside the visual as all photographs by default mechanically distance the transmitter and the receiver. So, despite leaning towards paintings, prints, performance residue, and photographs per se, they seem to reside in a more remote, interstitial space, one without name, but certainly specific in their uniqueness, again, as most of the titles suggest here.
Some are unique on account of material choice (ink and paper) and some because there are only one of them in existence, which is to say not part of an edition (a different way to serialize and monetize photographs). In whatever case, there seems to be a significant point here, but at the moment, I can only think about it in terms of our times, the proliferation of digital imagery, questions of authenticity/orginality, and definitions of art forms by medium, the latter enhanced by a discourse that started at least forty-years ago with Donald Judd's essay, "Specific Objects," which attempted to label artworks encompassing three dimensions. Chang's work, while technically having three dimensions, deals more so with two plus time. So, it is with this pairing that I find kinship with works that I have made myself, ones that I have dubbed interdimensional objects for lack of a better term. See here for my earliest examples (conveniently enough situated within my MFA thesis show titled, Pacific Objects). As such, it may be worth more to think about comparative values rather than absolutes. Certainly, this show offers such a reading. So, what does it mean to wonder about individual uniqueness when today's current technologies may suggest that there is none?
Bearing these observations and thoughts in mind (naturally biased from the outset), I hope I have at least coordinated a point or two about static artwork in relationship to time (present and historical) and further, reinforced the value of looking at complex objects and constellations of objects in real space, in real time. Whatever the case, as the title of the show suggests and despite allusions to photographic histories, these camera-less derived objects may not be a medium as we yet know it, and probably not photographs, unless we are to revert all the way back to 1839, in which case I might be wrong about what I just said. Prints, yes, or at least somewhere in between...