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Rod Slemmons

Negative No.1, 2021, archival inkjet on luster, 120x42 inches. Edition of 5.
Negative No.1, 2021, archival inkjet on luster, 120x42 inches. Edition of 5.

Negatives

Negatives, the inaugural exhibition organized by Jan Tichy, consists of five 3½-by-10-foot mural-sized enlarged negatives originally photographed by Slemmons in a forest with his early 20th century Kodak No. 1 Panoram camera. Tichy enlarged and recontextualized the images to reflect on larger aspects of Slemmons’ work – photography and education - the driving concepts behind The Chicago Cluster Project.  The prints hang vertically to obstruct and complicate the view and to reference the materiality of film negatives as well as Slemmons’ interest in Asian prints and scrolls. Here it is notable, as Tichy discovered, that in addition to literature, writing and photography, Slemmons at one point studied forestry, further complicating the context of Slemmons’ keen eye.

Natasha Egan
Executive Director
Museum of Contemporary Photography, Columbia College Chicago

Waterfalls from Still, Moving Moving, Still, 2-minute video loop projection inside Radio Opticon, 2021.
Portrait of the artist

Rod Slemmons

Rod Slemmons has had a distinguished career as a professor, curator, writer, editor, archivist, and museum director. For fourteen years he was the curator of photography at the Seattle Art Museum, building its collection and organizing countless exhibitions and critically acclaimed books including Like a One-Eyed Cat: Photographs by Lee Friedlander 1956-1987. He also taught for over a decade at the University of Washington mentoring hundreds of students, such as myself. In 2002, he relocated to Chicago to take the helm as executive director of the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago and began teaching both at Columbia and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The city has greatly benefited from his wry sense of humor and witty, poignant perspective.

Natasha Egan

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