On Saturday, March 8th, 2008, I opened my first solo show at the Bas Fisher Invitational. It was great to be back in Miami to get some fresh air and see all my friends there. Please check out the images of the show below the Press Release.
The Bas Fisher Invitational presents “Black Sun Project,”
a new series of photographs by Harlan Erskine.
“Black Sun Project”
March 8th - April TBD, 2008
Opening Reception: March 8th 2008 7-10PM
Closing Reception: April 12th 2008 7-10pm
other viewings by appointment only: lightofman[at]gmail.com
Bas Fisher Invitational
upstairs on the 2nd floor
of the Buena Vista Building
180 NE 39th St. Suite 210
Black Sun Project
“The sun is not fiery after all, but a dead planet. We on earth give it its light.”
My photography certainly began in a formalistic project based practice but this particular project is very much a departure for me because I am experimenting in photographic abstraction. Not long after photography’s invention, many photographers experimented with abstraction of photographic space. Even the early contact prints of plants produced by the inventor of the Calotype, Henry Fox Talbot, are in essence an exploration in photographic abstraction. I am particularly interested in the later abstraction from the 1930’s of Man Ray and his then assistant Lee Miller and their rediscovery of Solarizations or the Sabattier Effect. Particularly interesting are the more direct echos of my project in the singular images from Ansel Adams and Minor White. Their Black Sun images, through overexposure solarization, are the analogue version of my images. Therefore, in a similar way, they explored abstraction in relation to the contemporary photographic technology of their time-this exploration, titled Black Sun Project, explores photography through a significant contemporary technology, the mobile phone.
Contemporary practice has very much brought a particular kind formalism into vogue but with new sets of guidelines. I am certainly guilty of applying many of these parameters within my own work but in moving away from my previous methods of working, I have found some clarity in my previous explorations as well as a new avenue to explore. I will continue to work the way I used to but every so often, it is beneficial to perform radical change and see where it leads. Taryn Simon’s photograph of the albino tiger is good example of a photographer who is photographing an evolutionary glitch/mistake. Nature normally weeds out albino tigers born in the wild since they are not well suited to their surroundings and have a very tough time surviving–they tend to get horribly sunburn and stick out in its surroundings. By the same logic, technology companies normally weed out glitches from their products (we hope they do anyway) to improve their products. The manufacturer of this cellular phone eventually weeded out the black sun solarization effect so this artwork is self–reflexively about that mistake or glitch in the technological evolution of mobile photography and photography in general.
The Bas Fisher Invitational is a artist run alternative art space, located in the Buena Vista Building in Miami’s Design District. It was founded in July 2004 by artists Hernan Bas and Naomi Fisher in the wake of losing their favorite alternative art space “the House” to Miami’s rapid gentrification. Their premise is to simply invite artists who they are inspired by to publicly showcase their work, exposing additional exciting voices to Miami's growing art scene.
For additional information please contact the gallery at lightofman[at]gmail.com or contact Harlan Erskine at Me[at]harlanerskine.com
Black Sun 0006, c-print on diasec in wood frame, 48" x 64"
Black Sun 0009, c-print on diasec in wood frame, 48" x 64"
Black Sun 0181, c-print on diasec in wood frame, 48" x 64"
Infinite Black Suns, 104 c-prints, 4" x 6" each