Four artists, all of whom were featured on this blog, came together last month in Portland, Oregon, to reflect on a show of their work, Women in the Landscape. Zach Krahmer made a video of the discussion at Newspace Center for Photography, which hosted the exhibit. Jessica Auer, Jennifer Colten, Lauren Henkin and Dawn Roe participated in the discussion, moderated by Paul Sutinen. The 83-minute video is here.
These photographs explore questions of place. The unnamed environments exhibit clear detail and nonspecific location. The images point to particular things, yet no identifying information is gained and the unsettling sites at times bear likeness to a crime scene. These are not precise documents — the photographs are not exact records and do not describe particular locations. Instead these are places unnoticed and vulnerable. The visible marks and traces left behind could easily be erased, removing any certain history or evidence.
The clearest sense of orientation in a landscape’s depiction lies in the location of the horizon line. Here the horizons are often eliminated, rendering the viewer slightly off balance, searching for direction and clear footing.
This work searches for an articulation of place hovering at the margins of the urban landscape. Whether the occurrences at these locations were dramatic or banal, real or imagined, a remnant exists. The sites express an intentional unease, as a sense of displacement mirrors our current culture of insecurity and longing.
— Jennifer Colten, St. Louis, Missouri, USA