Image: Joseph Desler Costa, “Hand Variant,” 2018.
In 1840, French photographer Hippolyte Bayard (1801-1887) created the first staged photograph in a piece titled “Self-Portrait as a Drowned Man” that depicted himself as a suicide victim. Bayard staged his photographic death to illustrate his distress over a lack of recognition, and consequently cast a shadow of doubt over the ‘truth’ in photography forever thereafter. The image itself serves as a reminder of photography’s simultaneous ability to mimic and distort reality.
The Drowned is guest curated by Aaron Levi Garvey as a part of Alabama Contemporary Art Center’s new guest curator program. Taking a cue from Bayard’s faked photograph, The Drowned is a collection of photographs, paintings, and films that highlight and play with altered realities. According to Garvey, the artists “engage with the production of bending imagery as they question the potential of creation enabled by image producing machines.” Through themes ranging from post-colonialism, celebrity culture to landscapes, The Drowned explores visual deception and nostalgia.
The exhibition includes the works of nine different artists, and will be on show for three months at the Alabama Contemporary Art Center.
Joseph Desler Costa | Bobby Davidson | Mark Dorf | Rachel Libeskind | Sophie Lvoff | Jillian Mayer | Lydia McCarthy | Deepanjan Mukhopadhyay | Daniel Newman
Alabama Contemporary Art Center
301 Conti Street
Mobile, Alabama 36602
March 13, 2020, 6:00pm
For more information, visit the Alabama Contemporary Art Center website.