Present Tense – A First Look

This Wednesday we’ll be installing Present Tense, our 15th annual juried exhibition, which includes work from 18 different photographers from the US and abroad. The exhibition, juried by Denise Wolff, an editor at Aperture, features 3-5 works from each photographer – so while we won’t have the artists entire projects on view, there will be several from each photographer.

Here’s a first look at some of the projects featured in the show, this from Matthew Besinger’s series Annex the Desert.


He states: “In our books and pictures the West is a treasured place; our real needs lay waste to it. Westerners are fabled for an independent spirit but modern desert living couldn’t be more dependent- most everything comes from some place else. These pictures depend on the horizon- electric light pointing toward life, the sun permanently set on the original desert.”

“The nocturnal setting isolates the mechanics of development by stripping scenes of their human operators- the new, empty landscape questions our belonging, our ability to persist in a place so harsh. Darkness obscures but what can be seen is spotlit like the exhibits in a museum. The contention of the pictures- their feeling of unease- is a war of abstraction: of strange machines, unlivable homes, experimental fields; our schemes seeming ten-times stranger than a desert which sprouts 50ft. cactuses crowned in white flowers.”

Check out the rest of his project here.

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