Photo London 2019

16—19 May 2019

Large Glass presents the work of Hannah Collins and Mark Ruwedel. Both artists draw on the tension that lies between documentary and conceptual photography and they share a fascination with the influential American photographer Walker Evans.

Hannah Collins will exhibit a selection of black and white photographic studies of large-scale sculptures by African American artist Noah Purifoy, which are situated in the Mojave Desert. The complete series (18 photographs) is subject to a book, in a format that echoes Walker Evans’ photographic study ‘Message from the Interior’ of 1966.

‘As a traveller from another history and a different continent, when I came across Noah Purifoy’s sculptures spread across the desert, I felt like an explorer encountering the ruins from another time and place. By recycling found materials he created visual references that stretched back to his childhood — the shacks, churches and graveyards of the South, the trains that went west, the segregated washrooms and buses, the yard-sales, and burnt down buildings left by the Watt’s rebellion. As morning light rose some structures appeared to float. At mid-day the lack of shelter and the harshness of the scene heightened the polarity of black and white in the structures. When light fell the shacks appeared to dissolve into the distance.’ 
—Hannah Collins, excerpt from her introduction, ‘Hannah Collins: Noah Purifoy’, Steidl 2019

Mark Ruwedel will show a selection of black and white ‘portraits’ of abandoned houses in the desert area surrounding Los Angeles (coincidentally near Purifoy’s desert sculptures). This series began in 2003 and culminated in a book entitled ‘Message from the Exterior’.

‘Hundreds of abandoned houses are scattered across Wonder Valley, which lies east of the town of Twentynine Palms. There are also many that are occupied, but the mystery of abandonment was what attracted me: the atmosphere of unseen violence and tragedy, of failure of an undisclosed nature. Many of the houses appear to have been disemboweled or otherwise violated, illustrating the ‘Broken Windows Theory’: disorder invites even more disorder.’
—Mark Ruwedel, excerpt from his afterword, ‘Mark Ruwedel: Message from the Exterior’, MACK 2016

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