Joe Sheftel Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new photographs by Gil Blank, opening on March 1 and running through April 19, 2014. This is the first exhibition of the artist’s work at the gallery.
Five unframed photographs, filled with fields of stars, are displayed in the main gallery. Each of the five is from an ongoing project Blank began in 1986, comprising thousands of individual images of the night sky. At the beginning of each subsequent year, all of the images recorded during the previous twelve months are incrementally added to a single composition that itself is made up of all the images from years past, thus generating a new single annual photograph. The five photographs in this exhibition represent each of the last five years (2009–2013).
The often slight variations from one yearly photograph to the next reveal a density of accumulated information that at first glance is hardly detectable. Whether the density of stars or the empty space between them ultimately predominates will depend on the continued undertaking of the photography and the sum of experience it parallels. The indication of each star is indexically accurate—each dot represents some quantity of starlight registered on film or sensor—but the arrangement, as depicted, has no realistic corollary to any existing constellations. The black sky background has also been removed from each picture and replaced with a plain field of flat and obviously synthetic color, digitally generated at random.
All of Blank’s subjects are recorded with painstaking clarity and abundant photographic detail, suggesting that access to apparently infinite information can never suffice as a guarantor of knowable experience.
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