Wednesday, 14 November 2012

John Pfahl - Altered Landscapes

John Pfahl - Altered Landscapes:
Came across this photographer while dipping into Andy Grundberg’s Crisis of the Real – suggested to me by my tutor. Sadly it was a fraction too late for me to reference in my 2nd Assignment, but such is life. Pfahl’s work seems to overlap with some of my interests quite heavily – I never believed for a moment that I would be the first. In the example, and gallery, linked he is playing tricks with perspective by using cleverly placed man-made objects to deceive the eye of the viewer. The dotted lines which appear at first glance to be on the surface of the photo, can on closer inspection be seen to be attached to the pillars themselves.

Blue Right Angle
Image Courtesy of
John Pfahl

Copyright John Pfahl

Elsewhere the waves in the foreground turn out to strips of lace, what appears to be a reflection of the moon is in fact a pie plate, and golf balls, oranges and sticky tape play havoc with perspective. In doing so he toys not just with our ideas of perspective, but also our understanding of what a photo is. He draws attention to the fact that we are looking at a photo by the absurdity of the perspective.
Elsewhere on his website he offers some interesting takes on industrial smoke stacks, worries about descending into pictorialism and the sublime in Power Places, and uses digital techniques to create ‘scrolls’ (sadly no artists statement available for this one) and investigate the dynamics of geology. Plenty to think about here.

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