An Experiment in Perspective by John Chervinsky
On Display: September 28, 2009 – November 30, 2009
Artist Reception –October 23, 2009 5-7pm
Fermilab Art Gallery, Wilson Hall
"A point of view can be a dangerous luxury when substituted for insight and understanding." -Marshall McLuhan
"Every subjective phenomenon is essentially connected with a single point of view, and it seems inevitable that an objective, physical theory will abandon that point of view." -Thomas Nagel
Lenses and cameras are the tools of the trade for a working photographer, but it is the field of optics, as it relates to human vision, that can carry with it multivalent symbolic possibilities for the artist. It can stand as a testament to our expansion of human knowledge and perception. It can also symbolize aspects of our weaknesses, thus leading to a greater understanding of the human condition.
My still lifes are intended to be presented in the manner of a science demonstration or imaginary physics experiment. Chalk markings on blackboards are juxtaposed with real objects to create tensions between the physical world and the imaginary constructs that we use to define it. To accomplish the illusory effect of the chalk, I point a view camera toward the horizon point of two right-angle chalkboards. Markings are drawn into the three-dimensional field (in forced perspective) such that, from the fixed point of view of the camera, they appear to have depth, or to be floating in space, or on the surface plane of the photograph.
In an effort to engage collaboration with the viewer, the images are conceived symbolically, to form an open-ended framework. While it is my intent that the chalk markings and blackboards place the work into the world of ideas, it is not intended to be instructional. Rather, I see the work as posing questions without easy answers. My intent is not to express a single, narrow perspective, but to among other things, expose the fallacy of doing so.
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