Adam Fuss: Mask.
Photograms by Adam Fuss.
Baldwin Gallery., Aspen, 2005. 48 pp., 25 Tritone images printed on brown paper, 9½x12".
Signed copies available!
Adam Fuss has a talent for producing images of iconic
items. His daguerreotypes of skulls, swans and concentric
circles and his photograms of smoke and human silhouettes
all exhibit an energy that can only be described
as potent and vital. In his most recent body of work he
focuses on masks. In many ways, masks seem to be remnants
of an earlier epoch of man's social and religio-psychological
development. They are living dinosaurs, much
like tortoises or crocodiles: as odd as they are intriguing;
powerful, sublime and frightening all at once. In Through
the Body, Dymphna Callery writes that “masks give
access to the spirit world, not as a means of escape but
as a means of participating in the invisible forces of the
universe.” And furthermore, she writes that “masking is
an act of transformation in which both concealment and
revelation reside: the wearer is hidden, but, once worn,
the mask takes life and reveals itself.” The approach Fuss
takes is straightforward: He makes a photogram of each
mask. The mask is placed directly on a sheet of unexposed
light-sensitive paper, is exposed to light for a brief
time and then processed to reveal the latent image. It is,
in essence, the exact same thing that William Henry Fox
Talbot did in the late 1830s. Fuss’s results are chilling.
That which gives certain masks their power and sublimity
and ability to frighten seems to have been encapsulated
on the paper. DARIUS HIMES
please note there are a limited number of signed copies now available
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