Scott McFarland at Monte Clark: Street View

scott-mcfarland-main-streetScott McFarland, Main Street Optics, Main Street, Southampton, New York, 2012. 37.75″ x 70.5″

The Monte Clark Gallery in Vancouver is showing Toronto based-artist Scott McFarland’s new body of work from July 17th. Known for his crafting of large panoramic images which are made by digitally blending elements from many different exposures, his latest work focuses on one of photography’s most generous of arenas: the street.

From the Monte Clark Website:

The photographic model of reportage has been dominated by the use of small and medium format hand-held cameras. It involves the photographer being mobile and on the “hunt” for events and scenes that often occur in the urban public domain. An entire school of artists developed a working process in this mode using the street as the environ to capture images of their world, including but not limited to Walker Evans, Robert Frank, and Garry Winogrand. Their images are characterized by qualities such as black & white (which gives the works a more photojournalist look, like newspaper images), and a point and shoot aesthetic which could be described as non level, or non vertically aligned uprights. Mobility has been key to the street photographer seeking his subject, and moments are captured by chance, not planned or staged.

In McFarland’s new model of reportage, he positions his 4×5 camera on a tripod for a fixed period of time in a street location where there appears to be an interesting convergence of people and built elements of the urban environment. Returning day after day he continues to photograph various people that come into his view from the same camera placement. The “characters” in his images are not staged nor are they performers—they are individuals who happened to pass by his stationary camera while he was there to photograph them. In post editing with Photoshop, McFarland produces a seamless singular image that could have been photographed all at the same time; appearing as an instant. During this editing process, a new narrative is created from the raw material of different figures. People engage with each other in new ways that did not transpire at the time the images were taken. Individuals who now appear as friends were in reality strangers not even existing in the same space at the same time. McFarland’s new “nonfictional” narratives are created from non linear moments, but the aesthetics of early reportage create an understanding for the audience that the works present a kind of truth.

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Scott McFarland, Man on Ladder, Royal Street, New Orleans, 2012, archival inkjet print

The show runs until the 18th August.

 

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