Water Being Water.
Photographs by David Goldes.
Wright State University,
51 pp., numerous black-and-white illustrations, 8¾x12".
Well, it’s about time someone did a book on David
Goldes' photographs. This elegant and intelligent volume,
published to accompany an exhibition of Goldes'
water photographs at Wright State University Art
Galleries, brings the same careful scrutiny to his photographs
that the photographer has brought to numerous
subjects over the past three decades. Goldes, the recipient
of numerous fellowships, including a Guggenheim,
and the holder of Masters degrees in both photographic
fine art (SUNY Buffalo, via Visual Studies Workshop) and
molecular genetics (Harvard), makes photographs that
are as clearly seen and cleanly rendered as a Blossfeldt
botanical specimen. These are beautiful images, though,
because of their quirky combination of functional illustration
and exquisite tonality.
There's a tangible sensuality in
the silvery surfaces, a pleasure in
both the scientific and esthetic
phenomena Goldes has discovered
and divulged to us. One
image (Electricity and Water III,
1993) of an illuminated light bulb
immersed in a tall glass of water
leaves me gasping every time I
see it. Another (Finding North, 1994) illustrates both
magnetic fields and scientific error; one cork refuses to
align itself with its six cohorts. His unique, inventive
methods of telling these stories distinguishes Goldes'
works from effective diagrams. To put a photographic
spin on it, these are Berenice Abbott's physics illustrations
as reformatted by Elliott Erwitt, Zeke Berman, and
Chema Madoz. As Vince Leo suggests in his essay,
Goldes is a choreographer, sculptor, and partner in these
eloquent records of still lifes in motion. This volume,
which includes 18 plates reproducing works from 1993 -
2003, should introduce readers to an important aspect
of Goldes' work and stir interest in his other investigations.
Read Publisher's Description.