Sites of Reason: A Selection of Recent Acquisitions

Black and white photograms mounted on metal
Overall 136 x 192 x 58" (345.4 x 487.7 x 147.3 cm), original installation room dimensions 206 x 192 x 216" (523.2 x 487.7 x 548.6 cm)

Acquired through the generosity of Agnes Gund, Mimi Haas, Michael Lynne, Jerry I. Speyer and Katherine G. Farley, and Committee on Painting and Sculpture Funds

Liz Deschenes. Tilt/Swing (360º field of vision, version 1). 2009

Gelatin silver prints mounted on panels, six parts, Overall 136 x 192 x 58" (345.4 x 487.7 x 147.3 cm), original installation room dimensions 206 x 192 x 216" (523.2 x 487.7 x 548.6 cm). Acquired through the generosity of Agnes Gund, Mimi Haas, Michael Lynne, Jerry I. Speyer and Katherine G. Farley, and Committee on Painting and Sculpture Funds. © 2018 Liz Deschenes

Liz Deschenes: My name is Liz Deschenes, and I am talking about my work, Tilt/Swing, 360 degrees of viewing, version 1.

The work appears to be mirrors, but they're all photograms, meaning there's no negatives, there's no camera, there's no digital file. The works are silver toned, silver gelatin photograms, and they've only been exposed to the ambient light at night, which is stars, and ambient lights bouncing from buildings, or the moon. They will oxidize over time, and not from the light, but from the air in the room.

The piece is loosely modeled after a drawing that Hebert Bayer did in 1935 when he was no longer teaching at the Bauhaus. And all of the work is hung roughly according to the angles that Herbert Bayer devised. I've expanded out all the panels, so that the viewer is not only not claustrophobic, but has a myriad of options of vantage points and perspectives.

The title of the piece comes from architectural photography, which basically corrects for perspective, because when you use a camera that does not have a bellows, it appears that things are diminishing as they recede. And a tilt/swing lens will correct for perspectival shortening. The viewer takes on what would be the movements of the view camera. And the goal is to liberate the viewer, so the viewer can make decisions about how they navigate the piece.

I would aspire to my work never being finished, as the prints themselves continually change, and I'm not working with a negative, so it's my aspiration that the prints behave like a negative by mirroring what's in the room, by mirroring the viewer, and taking on their environments through their physicality. They're physically changing.

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