Monday, 6 July 2009
New York Times article here.
“The camera records something quite different from what we see. There are no rectangular formats in nature, only in art (paintings, sheets of music or poems, windows, ravioli), and only if we choose to look at it that way. For Perspective Correction, My Studio I, 1: Square on Floor, 1969, the earliest work in the show, Jan Dibbets drew an upside-down trapezoid (in relation to the camera) on his studio floor and took a photograph (the work) so that the trapezoid, distorted by perspective, appears to be a square. It’s difficult not to think of it as a square, and no reason not to, despite the inward-slanting walls. In a way it is a joke about the preeminence of the picture plane in contemporary art, whereas, of course, the perception of Renaissance perspective still prevails, or at least still resides, or better yet is still the place where we and the artist reside. Despite the square, our eyes take us into depth to the windows and their light. There are windows within a window presaged by another window. Without really destroying our illusions, the artist has interrupted reality, or intervened to almost imperceptibly create another reality, something in the back of the mind that forces us to accept both realities. The artist introduces himself (takes control?) by making a square out of a trapezoid in his own studio. The trick is an elementary one, a wan display of the human imagination. But it suggests something more elemental, in itself and in works to come.” – Donald Goddard
“Jan Dibbets’ series “Land And Sea Horizons” juxtaposes photographs of dunes and ocean, each mounted in different shapes and formats. The viewer sees simultaneously what would be in front of and what would be behind him in a real landscape. This experience is further stimulated by the fact that although the panels are pieced together in different ways, the horizon line always remains level and constant.
Also Dibbets’ “Windows” question the angle of vision from which we perceive reality through images today: a reality presumably existing in the objective sense, and another reality that we are able to create as a pure fiction in our minds. If some of Dibbets earlier works have already juxtaposed the indexical and the iconic dimensions of photography, this strategy is fully realized in the “Windows” series. Photographs of windows are isolated through a process of cut-outs and then enlarged. These images then are mounted on paper and surrounded by a monochrome field of paint. The light eminating through the windows is contrasted by the actual light that is reflected by the painted surface. Icon and Index are playing off each other and finally seem to become the flipside of the same coin.” – Konrad Fischer Galerie