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fall ‘23 analog class opens “learning / process” at usu projects gallery

Dec 4, 2023

USU Photo students in the Fall 2023 ART4825 Analog Photography class opened “LEARNING / PROCESS” this week in the USU Projects Gallery.

From the exhibition statement: 

The large format view camera is remarkable for its simultaneous simplicity and complexity. While not made of much more than a lens, dark box, and ground glass, through its various movements and controls a photographer can transform even the most ordinary subjects.  Seeing through the camera is magical; to step under the dark cloth one enters a world viewed upside down and backwards through a milky ground glass, light bends and refracts effervescent while focus tacks and falls from sharpest detail to dreamiest swirls. But it’s not all romance. Translating these magical images to film, and then from film to print, demands strict dedication to process and with it great amounts of trial and error, time, persistence, and patience.  

Such is the journey the ART 4825 Analog Photography class embarked upon this semester. From one of the medium’s earliest and most arduous processes—the 19th century wet-plate collodion process—to developing large format film and printing hand-crafted silver gelatin images in the darkroom, students have traced nearly 200 years of the history of photography. Yet their work isn’t only concerned with the antiquated and traditional, nor process just for process’ sake.  Instead, students have combined the historical methods with contemporary technologies and concerns— visually experimenting in the darkroom, in the studio, and in the field, scanning plates and film, manipulating pixels and tones, and shifting from the handheld to large scale. Their visual research has resulted in a variety of expressive images that elevate the mundane, softly glimpse quiet intimacies, confront the nuanced complexities of family and belonging, and boldly embrace the spectrum of identity and gender performance.

The student artists have shared the works in “LEARNING / PROCESS” salon-style without designating who made which picture, welcoming us into a space resembling more of a photographer’s studio than a traditional gallery space. Works on view include tintypes, contact and proof prints, silver gelatin images, and large scale inkjet prints, each picture serving as part of an active conversation reflecting the students’ semester-long dialogue and collective journey of learning and discovery.

-- Jared Ragland, Assistant Professor

“LEARNING / PROCESS” runs through Dec. 8. The USU Projects Gallery is located on the ground floor of the USU FAV building and is open Mon-Fri, 9-5. 

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