ARTIST RESEARCH – WALEAD BESHTY

After creating colour photograms outside then manipulation them I came across the work by Walead Beshty, straight away the colourful aesthetics stood out to me and in my project this is what I want to create to a further audience.

Beshty aims to explore ‘blank’ or ‘in-between’ moments, moments that often disappear from our memory as soon as they are over, never to return to our thoughts. This in-between time has always been central to Beshtys work. In his early works the theme of in-betweenes is represented in the sites he chooses to photograph.

Beshtys photograms attempt to demystify photography and mine the gaps in its historical narrative, the paper and its folds serve both as an expression of photographic materiality and as an exploration of photography’s technical development.

In 2005, Beshty began production of his first photogram works based on a possible yet undocumented series of work by Lazio Moholy-Nagy. Beshtys photograms individually titled ‘picture made by my hand with the assistance of light’ were made by exposing crumpled black and white photographic paper to light. In more recent series, including ‘colour curls and black curls’, Beshty exposes colour photographic paper to cyan magenta and yellow. The use of this system of color describes the field of all possible colours in the interaction between the primary subtractive colours. The unexposed paper is curled onto a metal wall in darkness and kept in place with large magnets. The paper is then exposed to the coloured light by a horizontal enlarger and processed with a large format colour processor. His works of photograms include; four sided picture 2006 (RGBY) , six sided picture (RGBCMY) . Six sided picture is a title that recounts all the factors involved in the production process, and describes a situation: The form of the initial object, the colours chosen by the artist, the date, the place and the kind of film.

In travel picture 2006/08 he discovered how he could work productively with issues of chance within the production of photographs. Beshty’s large format photographs documents an abandoned Iraqi diplomatic office located in former East Berlin. Before photographing the site, Beshtys unexposed film was damaged by airport security X-ray. After realizing how his film was affected by passing it through the high powered X-ray machines at the airport Beshty began to use travel as part of his work. What at first seemed to be simply discoloured damage left on his film developed into a multifaced body of work in which the situations surrounding the work were directly manifest, pushing his investigation of transparency into new territories. Having discovered this he proceeded to use film and pass it through the scanners once again when returning.

Following the concept of the Travel pictures series, Beshty began travelling with unexposed 4×5 transparency film in his luggage, exposing the film to the high powered airport x-ray scanners. From the book Walead Beshty: selected correspondences 2001-2010 Jason Smith describes the transparencies as ‘consisting of grainy, virtually monochrome fields of degraded colour (lavenders, pinks, plums, scarlets etc)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s