PDN Photo of the Day

Body and Transformation at Baxter Street

Baxter St at CCNY presents work by three artists, Qian Zhao, Keith O. Anderson and Res, in a show of the winners of their 2017 Annual Juried Photography Competition, on view at the New York City gallery until September 8. Juried by Andrianna Campbell, the show includes distinct and diverse approaches to using photography.

Qian Zhao photographs odd bits of city and suburban life, focusing on the blurred lines between real and fictional landscape. He writes in a statement, “These images ask viewers to look again, to step closer, to investigate what might be there in that other dimension.” Working with his own body, Keith O. Anderson references African traditions of body painting, placing felt pads usually used under furniture on his bare skin, and documenting the “performance-like ritual” he enacts. Repurposing pads that are designed to prevent marks and scratches on the floor “enables me to conceptually transfer this idea in application to my bare skin,” Anderson writes in a statement. Res presents images of family and the transformations that come with age. Res’s father worked in construction and his identity was liked to a macho version of masculinity. As his physical strength has diminished with time, Res’s father “is now in search of a new identity—I am not sure if he will find one,” Res writes. Res’s mother worked for Donald Trump in the 1990s and managed the construction of Trump Tower; she now speaks out against him. Res writes, the stories we construct about identity “can empower us, and they can trap us, and over time they expire, and then what do we do? We try to make new ones.”

Together, the photographs here “play with the body, subjectivity and the place of both in relationship to photography,” writes Campbell in a statement. “Some artists used analogue with an interest in the direct relationship of light while others address the fictions in both digital and analogue images.” But all of these artists, she writes, are engaged “with the place of photography in our age.”

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