At Robert Mann Gallery, 210 Eleventh Ave: “Plan”

Photographs by Aneta Grzeszykowska and Jan Smaga apply the methodology of aerial photography to interior photography. Customarily, interior photographs might be made from a high vantage point, with the position of the camera oriented from high up at the corner of the room, looking towards the opposite side,  pointed at an angle down towards the floor. Akin to satellite photographs, these images record the entire contents of an assortment of interiors taken from a vantage point directly overhead. Replete with detail, the photographs present all of the furnishings as flat planes.  Rugs, table tops, beds, a cat,  all become part of a complex formal arrangement.  The picture plane of these photographs, being parallel to the floor betrays no indication of depth, since no view of table legs, for example, can be seen. These prints are presented without mattes or frame, and the edge contours of each print is cut to conform to the room perimeters. Thus each all of the floor area of the room, and some indication of the room walls are rendered within the confines of the print. Some of the photographs include the room occupants, lying on a bed, soaking in the bath or sitting on the toilet.

For photography to transcend mere description, I believe that imagery should do more that merely describe what exists at a particular time and location. Yet these images succeed perhaps because of the obsessive attention to pure description and inhuman objectivity.  These photographs are also technically astonishing. The images are extremely clear, inviting endless scrutiny of every detail, from tooth paste tubes to nuggets of cat food spilled on the floor. Apparently the artists have used the computer to combine multiple photographic frames seamlessly into each print. Their efforts all add  up to an inventive study of quotidian life.

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