DEAR DAVE, 

Technological innovation throughout photographic history has had a corresponding impact on the function and the content of the image. Photographic flash has been used as an object of aggression, and as an instrument to reveal what has been culturally concealed. In a blinding instant, Julián Barón stalks power and privilege, and in an act of volatile overexposure, transforms it into something fugitive and faceless.

In another instance of photographic technology divulging the covert, the medium conspires to provide surveillance and intelligence via satellite, and military drones utilize this technology to inflict mortal damage invisibly. James Bridle, in his Dronestagram website, collates satellite images from Google maps with confirmed reports of drone strikes, to compromise their secrecy and moral detachment, and to describe the consequences.

Erik Madigan Heck has received considerable recognition recently for his lush fashion photographs that suggest the romantic history of theater, opera, dance and beauty, and the natural world as its stage. Deeply saturated with color and light, fabric and finery they combine to a place where extravagance and connoisseurship converse.

The making of art often involves a process of addition. In the portfolio presented here, Tiana Peterson has subtracted the pop from pop-up books, removing any ambition to become three-dimensional, and proposing their scarred surface as a palimpsest of absence and erasure.

The writer Barbara Pollack coins the phrase “sociological abstraction” to understand the work of Morten Andenaes within the context of an affluent and homogenous Nordic society. Through these brooding images and their relationship to each other, emotion and interpretation are negotiated, and a reticent and watchful community is gradually articulated.

Marco Breuer, known for his investigation of photographic process as mark and event, is an inveterate collector of photographic ephemera, attracted to vernacular pictures for the authenticity and idiosyncrasy. Here, Breuer submits a handful of droll found images culled as an essay in mortality and the ineffable, accompanied by corresponding fragments of found phrases.

Upon gaining independence in 1964, an improvisational space program was initiated in Zambia, whose nascent enterprise was to send the first African astronauts to Mars. Never airborne, it became no more than an eccentric and forgotten anecdote in the country’s history. In The Afronauts Cristina De Middel stages its retelling as legend and suggesting myth and adventure; a fictional portrait of aspiration and innocence.

Thanks and love,
Stephen