Sunday, January 9, 2011

Deborah Luster : Tooth For An Eye

Really enjoyed Deborah Luster's show at Jack Shainman, definitely worth a visit!

Tooth for an Eye: A Chorography of Violence in Orleans Parish is a photographic archive documenting contemporary and historical homicide sites in New Orleans, the homicide capital of the United States. The result is an exploration of the dizzyingly empty space at the core of violence. Luster approaches this invisible, excised population obliquely, with haunting, unpopulated photographs that seem to exist outside of time, simultaneously distant and chillingly close.

The images comprising Tooth for an Eye will be presented in two formats. Large framed photographs are printed in circular forms that echo what the lens of Luster’s 8 x 10 Deardorff field camera sees. These luminously printed works formally embody Luster’s well-developed technique. In addition to the wall-bound work, Luster intimately invites the viewer to handle and browse the archive of images and text, which are bound in large ledgers.

all images © Deborah Luster

Tooth for an Eye ultimately expands into a mapping or chorography of a much beloved and beleaguered city - the topographical, architectural, material and cultural phenomenon that is New Orleans. By approaching cityscapes through the disorienting context of homicide, the work disturbs the deep crust of stereotypical visual interpretations of New Orleans, a city that has been photographed repeatedly but still remains elusive. Luster’s archive documents the loss of the physical city as its unique materiality slowly crumbles, exposing the pervasive pulse of both hope and corruption that exists in the city’s still and patient spaces.
(press release)

Currently on view at Jack Shainman until 5FEB

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