It’s All Been Done Before
It’s All Been Done Before is a group show organized by Brandon Juhasz, an artist based in Cleveland, OH. This show is a giant conversation on photography as part of our well-archived culture. The artists represented in the exhibition – Jerry Birchfield, Lauren Davies, Erin O’Keefe, Greg Ruffing, Sadie Wechsler, and Brandon Juhasz – all challenge the simple act of image making. Between the constructs of three-dimensional, interactive space, and the heavy hand of the maker, this show follows the new subcategories that are ever evolving from photography.
You can catch the show between January 16-February 20 at the Forum Art Space in Cleveland, OH.
It’s all been done before. A statement that itself is clichéd yet refers to cliché. I like this word play in reference to photography because one could say on a macro level we have photographed the world. One quick search on the Internet for any topic, place, event or person will yield a vast supply of images thoroughly covering nearly all aspects and details. We can have extensive knowledge and visual confirmation of just about anything in this day and age.
As artists, where does that leave us? The truth is we can still photograph anything we want. I believe that the simple act of an individual making the decision to photograph or make something creates something unique on a philosophical level. But still with a grand history before us, comparisons will be made. This is especially true considering the technical limitations of photography and the fact that works can often closely resemble one another.
For this show, I have brought together six artists who find new strategies for dealing with the medium of photography in the 21st century. The artists have embraced photography’s wide openness and malleability, often implementing photography’s inherent illusionary ability, or embracing Photoshop’s influence on image making. A key theme also seems to be how to deal with the growing immense archive of images. How can we as artists use what has come before us to re-contextualize and see ourselves through what has been done already? Like finding identity and meaning through all the noise.
These diverse approaches to photographic art making are wonderfully relevant to the post-Internet world and in many ways responsive to contemporary digital image culture. I love the way these artists recognize how photography is used today, are willing to acknowledge how it has changed and have proudly grounded their practice in photographic history.
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