Critical Mass Top 50, 2011

2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004  

Mary Ellen Bartley

www.maryellenbartley.com


ALL THE MORE REAL

SUMMER NIGHTS WALKING

AT THE EDGE OF THE DECIPHERABLE

THE EDGE OF VISION

UTATANE

HIROSHI SUGIMOTO

SLEEPING BY THE MISSISSIPPI

AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY RICHARD AVEDON

A ROAD DIVIDED

THE WAKING DREAM
Mary Ellen Bartley

STANDING OPEN This is my fourth series of photographs looking at books. While shooting my stacks and rows of tightly closed paperback books I began seeing some of the standing books loosen up, allowing a view of the space between their pages. I was drawn into the unique interior space of the books. I began opening all kinds of books and placing them standing open around my space where sunlight might fall on them. Using the chance settling of the pages and a close up view, this quickly became a project of looking into my photography books in a new way, with my gaze falling into and out of the books and into and out of abstraction. This work interests me on many levels. First is the sheer beauty of the physical books and the unique formal discoveries of looking at them close up. Among the repeating formal motifs I’ve found are the stripes the pages create, the shadowy voids between pages that read like burns or stains, and the reflections the photos can make on the pages facing them. On another level I’m fascinated by conceptual ideas concerning appropriation and reproduction in a mechanical versus digital age that the work can’t help but throw into question. What is the unique aura or presence of a book? Finally what drives the work for me is the emotional connection I have to the books. I’m trying to evoke the sensuality and intimacy of reading and looking through books as well as the fleeting inspiration, little jolts of connection, found for readers in books they love.