127 x 254 cm
Inv. Nr. 57
Born in 1976 in London, England
Lives and works in Los Angeles, California, USA
Walead Beshty’s practice investigates the historical conditions of the photographic medium and its contemporary implications. Since graduating from Bard College in 1999 and Yale in 2002, he has been exploiting the conventions of a multitude of photographic genres with the intention of, in his own words: “creating a mode of production that is neither a cynical re-celebration of the dismantling of photographic meaning, nor an anodyne and amnesic revelry in photographic spectacle.” Beshty’s photographic works seem to pit the medium against itself, often to humorous or uncanny effect, exploiting photography’s formal qualities and historical contradictions to activate and politicize the seemingly neutral elements of image making.
The series of photographs named Six-Sided Picture (C) evokes abstract paintings: the crisscrossing geometric and brightly coloured forms looks like macroscopic views of minerals or children’s kaleidoscopes. In fact, the Sided Pictures are the result of the simple exposure to sunlight of light-sensitive papers, folded in different patterns. This process recalls the origins of photography as a chemical process, referring to the experiments of Man Ray or László Moholy-Nagy. The images created in this manner eventually bear the traces of the photographic process, which also produces itself. The material acts as both the referent and the object, both negative and substrate.