A photograph exists as a sort of fiction—a two dimensional representation of what exists in three.
Produced after a month-long sojourn in Japan, in places both urban and remote: Tokyo, Kitakyushu, Naoshima, this piece, comprised of 49 related works, is an homage to an homage—the seminal masterwork of Josef Albers entitled Homage to the Square. In a similar fashion to Alber’s vigorous engagement with conceptual ideas of form and dimension through the arrangement of painted squares of color, Contemplating the Grid removes the photographs from their original contexts, forcing them into new associations.
For the most part, these juxtapositions create a visual discord: they push and pull against one another, offer the illusion of advancing and receding planes, while the observer struggles, not knowing where to look, forced into perceptual uncertainty. Shoji screens mingle with kimono fabrics, drink dispensers with painted dragons, market stall fish with graphic street signage. In the case of #26, two shelving systems—one at a market stall, containing books, the other from a Shinto shrine, bearing temple shoes—appear to advance and retreat, one appearing two dimensional contextually, the other, three.
The combinations are simultaneously playful and transgressive, engaging the viewer in an ambiguous game of representation versus abstraction..