Conventional display of art privileges level lines and generous spacing—all the better to spotlight the merits of individual works. Both Steven Foster’s Steve Lacy Series
and Tomiko Jones’ A Place to Rest
flout these principles of exhibition to reflect influence and collaboration, making the installation of the photographs as much a part of the work of art as the photographs themselves.
Foster’s Steve Lacy Series
draws its inspiration from the music of soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy (1934–2004). An uncompromising and unconventional musician, Lacy’s solo recordings exploit silence and repetition in evocative improvisations intended to represent animals, objects, activities, and abstractions. Foster’s photographs exalt in views of everyday life that reveal a similar appreciation of space and repetition. Dynamically hung on the wall, the photographs comprise a graphic musical score intended for musical interpretation, bringing the series full circle: from music to photography and back to music.
After graduating with an MFA from the
University of Arizona, Tucson in 2008, Tomiko Jones embarked on the nomadic lifestyle of an artist-academic cast about on the sea of short-term residencies, university appointments, and creative jaunts. To stay grounded and keep loved ones updated, Jones took to photographing every bed she slept in while moving about. A Place to Rest
selects photographs from her ever-expanding archive of more than two hundred images.
The atypical installation reflects the vicissitudes of life on the go. Some dwellings were longer lasting and occupy an outsized place in memory while nondescript hotel rooms are as forgettable as they are interchangeable. The organization of the photographs translates Jones’ subjective impression of her dwellings into the objective language of size and spacing.