Photography, perhaps more than any other medium, carries the weighty expectation to function as a tool for historic documentation, form of proof, testimony of experience or scientific discovery. The photograph is looked upon to hold “an answer”. The artists in Taking Inventory, to a certain extent, continue (and poke a stick at) this tradition, focusing on images and often creating and collecting taxonomies that investigate, examine and transform the world around them.
Anne Hall and Neeta Madahar examine the concept of transformation – our desire that a place or an object might somehow change us, allow us to escape or make us “better”. Kerry Skarbakka and David Hilliard examine various psychological states fused (to) and acted out within a very specific physical space. These spaces ultimately hold the answer...or allude to the action taking place. Stephen Tourlentes, Jeremy Kid and Per Hüttner present us with seemingly knowable spaces but in new (and somewhat obsessive) ways, inviting the viewer to reconsider the way in which the world is viewed and what it could ultimately mean. Jesse Reed, Gary Schneider and Jason Salavon scrutinize the body, Schneider with a flashlight, Reed with paint and Salavon employs digital software, with surprising results, rendering the physical self in a surprising new light.
Perhaps, in the end, the images in Taking Inventory prove that the more we scrutinize our world (especially with the camera), the more we realize that we may never truly understand it.