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Terri Weifenbach, Raymond Meeks: UNCORRUPTED ° INCORROTTI
19 November 2021 @ 8:00 - 8 January 2022 @ 17:00
TERRI WEIFENBACH, RAYMOND MEEKS
UNCORRUPTED ° INCORROTTI
curated by Tim Carpenter
November 20, 2021 – January 2, 2022
opening: Friday, November 19 from 6.30pm
Micamera comes of age and celebrates its eighteenth birthday with a special exhibition.
To celebrate the collaboration between the two founders, Giulia Zorzi and Flavio Franzoni, who conceived a bookshop dedicated to contemporary photography, Micamera has invited Terri Weifenbach and Raymond Meeks, two authors that Tim Carpenter, in the role of curator, presents in a brand new exhibition with the meaningful title: UNCORRUPTED ° INCORROTTI.
Manipulating each other’s images, allowing themselves to experiment, Weifenbach and Meeks have created wonderful diptychs, core of this exhibition and supported by individual works. Not so different from what has happened at Micamera over the years: a dialogue that started between two people and has then been extended to collaborators, authors and friends. This act of contamination and exchange leads to a place that embodies the purity of persistent research and radical questioning. A rare commodity to come across, especially when it comes to authors with some years of successful experience.
So what does ‘Uncorrupted’ mean? It could be about coming of age with the freshness of someone who still feels like practicing doubt and taking the risk of imagining a different world and a different future. Even accepting the possibility of failure.
Human beings have forever envied things their stubborn thinginess. We use oblique and elegant words like givenness and thusness to get at the strange completion that we perceive in the nonhuman – and equally to hint at our own insufficiency, the insistent lack within. This fundamental longing for the given motivated Francis Ponge to write of “taking the side of things,” but as Roger Fry noted, “such writing is an impossible undertaking, largely because it is the nature of things not to take sides.”
The opposite of the given is the possible. Although independent and ever-changing, the nature of the given is forever determined ; the possible is dependent upon what is thus, but on the plus side: it is open-ended, indeterminate. In other words, it is free.
Our selves are the possible.
As committed realists, Terri Weifenbach and Raymond Meeks have always grounded their work in the stuff of this world. And yet their photographs are revered not for any specific subject matter, but for the clarity and resolve of the simple separate self that is enacted – and to be clear: not merely portrayed – in the pictures themselves.
Much of this has to do with the exquisite control (of both camera and print) that is the hallmark of both artists; it is one’s formal command of the medium, after all, that allows for broad access to internal states. But as the pictures in “Uncorrupted” show us, a significant part of their achievement lies in the dogged pursuit of the fleeting intersections between the given and the possible.
To state the obvious: Weifenbach and Meeks stick with their subjects, making numerous exposures where interest and curiosity are piqued. Moving their bodies and working their machines, they effect the minutest of calibrations of the distance between mind and world. We see always a taking stock of the flux within and the flux without, with conclusions (pictures) that are necessarily tentative and contingent.
Such repetitions and variations in photographs serve to defamiliarize the ostensible subject matter (to estrange us from our preconceived notions of even such commonplace objects as trees and rocks) and thus to place greater emphasis on the pictorial relationships between those basic things – which of course are simultaneously relationships between those things and the photographer.
To further defy projected meanings (in this case, not the viewers’, but rather their own) Weifenbach and Meeks each offered up a number of their images for the other to render as final print. Presented as diptychs, these paired interpretations are further enactments of the slipperiness of the shifting perspectives that are the stuff – and also precisely the freedom – of self. These dual creations, along with the individual prints from both artists in the exhibition, arrive at a strange and wonderful place: an ontology rather than an epistemology – “a gaiety that is being, not merely knowing,” as Wallace Stevens would have it.