The Iceman Cometh

Brian Fridge creates space to make images to create space with

That dependence on physical size doesn't adversely affect his Lambda prints one bit. For these works, Fridge used a still camera to photograph his freezer stars and scanned the images into a computer. He then formed collages of different photos into one composition. These digital files become negatives from which the Lambda prints are produced. (A Lambda print is made on a printer that uses lasers to expose traditional photographic material.) For this exhibition, Fridge shows two different varieties of prints: one that resembles his video imagery in that it's white on black, and others that are the inverse, black on white. These prints are each titled "Detail" and numbered, much as astronomical photos are named with geographical and temporal referents.

Where Fridge's video work sparks a wonder that recedes, his prints become more engaging the longer you look at them. The prints--especially the larger, black-on-white ones--possess a dramatic dynamism and epistemological insecurity that the video pieces can't touch. They resemble natural phenomena, but they obviously don't exist in nature. And as a result, they're very easy to get lost in, as if you're drifting through intellectual zero gravity toward you don't know what.

Even the medium is elusive. At times, the black-on-white image has the feel and texture of smudged graphite on paper, or the viscosity of pigment on canvas. Simultaneously, there's that crispness that photographically based images achieve best, a clarity of image that makes you believe the white-on-black prints are actual satellite photos.

These prints are so recent and new to Fridge that he doesn't have slides for them, but they may push his ice-cluster starbursts into more compelling territory.

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