Art Academy of Cincinnati: Pearlman Gallery
Evidence with Lockdown Archive and Shelter in Plates
Evidence is an exhibition of reproductions from the original 1977 show by Mike Mandel and Larry Sultan. As a complement to Evidence, a small installation of Mike Mandel’s recent works, made in collaboration with his wife Chantal Zakari and titled Lockdown Archive and Shelter in Plates, is also on view.
Mike Mandel and Larry Sultan’s Evidence is a collection of found and decontextualized images taken from public and private American institutional archives and assembled over the course of three years. The images, originally made as documents and objective records of crimes, industrial tests, engineering experiments, etc., were sequenced and exhibited at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 1977. With no captions to explain what they showed or where they came from, the images became expressive artifacts. As a collection, Evidence demonstrated the power of using found photographs for the purposes of art. By reconsidering the role of the photographer as an editor rather than as the agent behind the camera, Evidence prefigured much of conceptual photography to come. The collection continues to question whether photographs can ever truly be objective, and to subvert the traditional role of photographer as author.
In a thematic extension of Evidence, a collaborative endeavor between Mike Mandel and his wife, Chantal Zakari, will also be presented. Their two series, Lockdown Archive and Shelter in Plates, includes assembled photographs mined from the web. The images were made as residents of Watertown, Massachussets, were under siege as officials searched for the Boston Marathon bomber. The installation includes a stack of limited-run posters, offered free to visitors.