July 29 – September 11, 2021
ClampArt is pleased to announce “Jason Langer | Figures”—an Artsy online exclusive exhibition.
In the late nineties and early aughts, artist Jason Langer placed ads on Craigslist for anyone, male or female, willing to allow him to photograph them naked in their personal, intimate spaces as they went about their evening routines. Langer kept his subjects moving naturally, avoiding props, although he would occasionally ask them pause so he could make a photo. He aspired to be a voyeur, surreptitiously witnessing private lives. Although the images were not intended to be erotic, he sometimes would sense erotic energy in the room, as typically the space was occupied only by model, photographer, and camera.
Langer writes: “I was thinking about bodies not so much as vessels but as masculine and feminine principles. I had Carl Jung’s theory of the Animus and Anima in mind—that within each of us is a mix of the two, and that, throughout our lives, they are in constant dialog seeking integration. In photographing women my interest was in understanding femininity and, at best, absorbing it within myself. By avoiding photographing the face, I was hoping to omit personality and ego, and to depict male and female bodies as universal representations.”
However, by the end of his ten-year exploration, Langer began to find that making portraits of his subjects was unavoidable, and he asked some sitters to look directly in the camera. In the end, though, he found himself photographing men and women in the same way: “My eye made no distinction between the genders and I depicted them all as open, unguarded, and in repose. I found masculine and feminine qualities in both bodies so convincingly, the terms lost meaning.” Ultimately, Langer created images of solitude, photographing people in their homes with their minds at rest unencumbered by technology, relationships, and to-do lists.
The exhibition consists of thirty-one 20 x 16-inch gelatin silver prints. Exhibition prints are available for view at the gallery.
American photographer Jason Langer (b.1967, Tucson, Arizona) is best known for his psychological and noirish visions of contemporary urban life. He became interested in photography at age twelve after seeing an exhibition of photographer W. Eugene Smith. Through his early years Langer printed photographs in a homemade darkroom in his bedroom closet. As a teenager Langer was introduced to photographer Michael Kenna and after receiving a BA in photography from the University of Oregon, Langer became Kenna’s first apprentice in 1990. Soon Langer began to have gallery exhibitions and for twelve years taught photography at the Academy of Art in San Francisco. Langer published two monographs with Nazraeli press: Secret City in 2006 and Possession in 2014. In 2015, Radius books published Jason Langer: Twenty Years.
Langer’s prints can be found in an ever-growing list of galleries and museums in Europe and North America. Langer’s work has appeared in numerous publications: American Photo, Black and White, Harper’s, Life, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Photo District News, Popular Photography, Time, and Vanity Fair.
View the exhibition at Artsy.net.