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Chris Ogden, Stones Echo – Visual Poems Written On Quarry Walls
February 3, 2018 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
February 3rd – March 2nd, 2018
Camerawork Gallery is proud to present the gallery debut of a ten-year project by noted North Carolinian professional artist Chris Ogden. These fine art photographs weave together a trinity of predominant themes played out on the theater of dimensional stone quarry walls: Mystery, time, and elemental cyclical changes.
Ogden notes, “In the days when stone flowed like water, time didn’t mean the same thing as it does to us today. Granite, marble, travertine, sandstone, slate, basalt . . . these are the children of Kronos. When miners reached under the ribs of the Earth to pull out its still-beating heart and make the Pyramids, Chartres Cathedral, the First National Bank, or a Washington, D.C., they opened a window into the Earth’s crust. Behind such a scrim, the oldest gods play out their dramas as through an eerily familiar fog.
“Make no mistake: here too is the hand of man. Yet despite signs of old explosions, rust, cuts, meltings, tailings, and drill holes, Nature remains imperturbable—not serene, but equanimous, even generous. She invites meditation.
“Which is more real, the reflection of rock, or the rock? Such questions grew in me during my adolescence, whether leaping into the swimming hole of an abandoned quarry with the sounds of high school joys and angsts echoing off the walls, trying to name all the colors of the Grand Canyon—where I bought my first piece of petrified wood for thirty-five cents and decades later kayaked below its towering walls that map histories beyond our comprehension— or craning my head upward from the raging flume’s edge of Franconia Notch to the gorge’s metaphorical and contradictory tableaux.
“Earth, I came to realize, doesn’t mind our anthropomorphic voyeurism. In the stone, born before human DNA, we see multiple layers, histories, titillations, the sensuality of the half-understood. We see frozen violence—something taboo, as if we had walked in on a patient. As a photographer, I feel the awe of the surgeon.
“As Native Americans thanked their prey for giving themselves in the hunt, so we must turn here to a generous landscape to say, “We honor you, we thank you.” I hope you’ll find these photos both evocative and provocative. I invite you to view each as a stepping stone backward and forward into time, expanding outward across the universe and inward into our existential component parts, both tangible and not. In another billion years, what will this planet look like?”