Taj Forer: Stone by Stone

Exhibition Artworks

Apr 5, 2013 - Apr 30, 2013

Opening Reception: Friday, April 5th 2013, 6-9P.M.

Taj Forer is a photographic artist, publisher and educator. He received his MFA in Photography from UNC-Chapel Hill (where he is currently a Lecturer in the Department of Art) and his BA from Sarah Lawrence College. He is a Cofounder of Daylight, the celebrated international photography publisher. Forer is the author of two books of his own photography, Stone by Stone (Kehrer Verlag, 2011, Heidelberg, Germany) and Threefold Sun (Charta Editions, 2007, Milano, Italy). His photographs have been exhibited in museums and galleries around the world and can be found in private and public collections throughout the United States and Europe including those of The J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles, CA), The North Carolina Museum of Art (Raleigh, NC), The Sir Elton John Collection (London, UK), The Mint Museum of Art (Charlotte, NC) and The Taubman Museum of Art (Roanoke, VA).
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         "Interwoven in Taj Forer's images is undercurrent of stories told an re-told, of humans in their presence or absence imprinting the tangible earth. And what remains is felt. What remains is remembered. How? It's difficult to imagine the firsts of anything. Within the constructs of a single lifespan, details played out in years blur, and trust enacts cell memory to be certain we were here. What is known becomes more innate, more symbolic. Mark-making-words on a page, pictures on a cave wall- realize the same impulse to gather thought and place it somewhere to see, to run a hand across, to back-up the mind and its forgetting.

In the end, the affirmation rests in the evidence of hindsight perspective that regardless of centuries of countless wars or continual breaking down of the ecological structure of the planet- we're still here. Still exploring uncertainty, still rising each morning, laying our bodies down each night, and in between looking at the sky, building shelter, finding food. And tethered to survival is imagination. It has always been so, will always be. And from that arrives the distinguishing feature of person from animal: art. The enmeshment of instinct and dreaming is where context rests, the balance between mere consequence and the path there. A cause and effect translates in the process of inverting thought to form or action, and in the transference is a waiting and forgiving earth that beyond illusion allows evidence of human nature to remain- in practice, in its repetition, its fossils, its collective memory.

Temporal and spatial boundaries fall away in Forer's homage. Direct and clear in stance, the images depict a time and place that is anywhere, that is then-as far back as documented- as well as now. That clarity of his composition allows emotional content to carry contextual layers of humanistic themes: this is where we were as a people; this is where still are. Do we still hunt and gather? Of course. And perhaps more than ever, what we look for in out now is time, more of it, and divergent and permanent ways to voice ourselves with resonance past our own minute history. Are we still in survival mode? Every day. Can there be beauty and inspiration in that process, can we still learn from the most basic acts within waking hours? The reverence Forer pays to the exploration of ancient practices gives forth a body of work that is inspired, that in inspired, that implores further looking-inward as well as out across to a horizon line slicing the earth in half.

In one of his pictures a hand picks an apple, the lines of the branches extending to the sky, the curce of the hand, the fingers, the grasping to pull. It is stunning in it sfilling of the frame, in its threading of line and shape, form and memory, action and thought, then and now. His photographs hold the arpeggios of trees, and shelters of branches and boughs; water coursing continually despite the expectations of time and geography. We see fire. We see evidence of harvest. And it is familiar. Pactices extending back in tradition thousnads of years, famililar? What haunts us modernists is the belief that we have, can, and eventually will be taken. Forer reminds us, not all. The intrinsic home is still built, by the knowledge extending beyond our singular selves. There is no isolation-it is a chord of past, present, and future. His expansive vision does not attempt to answer, but to give, to prod remembering from where we arrived, to consider what remains is essential."

-Statement by Kirsten Rian

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