No Fear of Flying

Monday, November 16, 2009

Daniel Gordon is having his moment. A 2005 Yale MFA grad, Gordon’s photographed sculptural collages (see first image below) are one of six groups of work featured in MoMA’s current “New Photography” show which addresses the concept of image collection and creation in the studio or darkroom. I have to say I’m not crazy about these pictures. (They’re a little too violent for me.) But this past Saturday I just managed to catch the last day of Gordon’s exhibition at Leo Koenig – a sampling of a much earlier project of “flying” pictures - which I really liked a lot.

A group of self-portraits taken starting ten years ago in the Hudson Valley and the Bay Area, the extremely athletic artist recorded himself flying — if only for 1/125th of a second at a time. The images are both landscapes and performance documents, humorous and surreal, playing with the notion of how photography can deceive and enchant.

What was particularly refreshing was to see something that was new and gutsy both conceptually and physically. The laws of physics mean that he does after all have to crash. But how nice to see something vibrant and life-affirming and unexpected.

More flying pictures:


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