CAMERA ERA, curated by Barbara Levine and Paige Ramey from their archive of vintage photographs features photos that reveal a special relationship with the camera. It may be a sitter striking an iconic pose, or hiding her face... or it may be camera or printing errors or maybe the photographer altering the photo by hand—the kind of photographic 'mistakes' that can now be instantly corrected, but which we love for their very human texture. In today’s digital reality, where every device is a camera and every blip, click and ping contains a picture, it is easy to forget the charisma and mystique of the physical printed photograph.
The exhibition is a collusion between vintage and contemporary technologies. Original small snapshots are shown together with archival images that have been re-photographed and digitally “remastered.” The large format prints reveal the surface wear, detail and patina of the long forgotten photographs to offer a different point of view and remind us of the power of the photograph to stop time and bring alive moments and relationships at once instantly recognizable and deeply enigmatic.
Published in conjunction with the exhibition was a pocket sized limited edition book. Awarded a photo-eye 2014 Best Photobook, CAMERA ERA is a meditation on the camera and its complicated hold on our lives. Found and staged photos, ephemera, and all sorts of unexpected relationships are brought together and set in motion by design. The result is an expressive mysterious album and a document of our complex relationship to both the camera and the photographic images it leaves behind. Available for purchase here.