Peder Lund is proud to present an exhibition of photographs by the American artist Lucas Blalock (b. 1978). On display for the first time in Norway are 10 works executed between 2009 and 2013 – several of them on view for the first time. The exhibition opens November 16, 2013 and will be on display until January 12, 2014.
Lucas Blalock set out as a photographer in the 1990s, finding himself discontent with the quality of digital photography, deciding to continue to work with an analogue camera. He favoured the 4 x 5 format, and started scanning his pictures into Photoshop, where he post-produced them through colour spacing and by removing dust from the negatives. His subjects are cheap everyday materials bought at ¢99 stores, or found materials, which are set up as still-lives in his studio. He also produces portraits, and photographs familiar outdoors surroundings.
Central to Blalock’s practice are the theoretical questions that a new generation of photographers occupy themselves with. They contest what image making has become in an age of mass-produced images circulating online, particularly through social media, taken by anyone with their hands on a pocket-sized camera or a mobile phone. Similar to how fin-de-siècle artists began the long-lasting dialogue on the role of representation in the age of photography, this new generation of photographers reflects on how the medium of digital photography can separate the art photograph from that of amateurs through self-reflexivity. Likening his work to that of Bertholt Brecht, the 20th-century creator of Epic Theatre, Blalock is concerned with how art photography as a medium reveals how digital manipulation both alters and adds to reality by removing the photographed further and further away from the original. By using familiar objects, and digitally altering them through obvious manipulation, Blalock manifests photographers’ attempts to strip their subjects of their identity by moving the subject away from veracity. Both the photographing, and the subsequent work in Photoshop, is part of a machine, which Blalock calls the assisted camera.