Self-Ex­pres­sion

The Washington Post Sunday - - STARTS -

The mo­tives of the fi­nal part of the ex­hibit are not at all un­der­handed or sin­is­ter — they use ma­nip­u­lated pho­tog­ra­phy to make art. When I was a teenager, de­vel­op­ing my own prints in a dark­room, I be­came en­thralled with the pos­si­bil­i­ties of this ana­log craft. That in­ter­est led me straight to the mes­mer­iz­ing work of Jerry Uels­mann. He cre­ated sur­real land­scapes that were mys­te­ri­ous not only in their mes­sage, but also in their highly re­fined dark­room tech­niques. I spent count­less hours try­ing to fig­ure out how he was able to build such elab­o­rate con­struc­tions, all done as one im­age. It is a shame that to­day, Uels­mann’s im­ages feel less spec­tac­u­lar viewed with the knowl­edge that to­day’s soft­ware can so eas­ily match his craft. To get the most from “Fak­ing It,” try leav­ing to­day’s re­al­ity of dig­i­tal un­re­al­ity be­hind, and en­joy the im­mer­sive plea­sure of pho­tog­ra­phy’s ana­log youth.

JERRY UELS­MANN

‘UN­TI­TLED’: Jerry Uels­mann uses highly re­fined dark­room tech­niques to cre­ate sur­real land­scapes. Viewed as strik­ing in their day, Uels­mann’s im­ages feel less spec­tac­u­lar with the knowl­edge that to­day’s soft­ware can so eas­ily match his craft. This gelatin sil­ver print was cre­ated in 1969.

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