Photo/Graphic: Reading Postmodern Photography

Akron Art Museum

With beautiful, moving, and sometimes challenging, imagery, postmodern photographers draw the viewer into a dialogue with their work. Many artists accompany their photographs with written text that helps put their work into context. Other photographers create works that are simple and spare and that allow viewers to inscribe their own meaning upon the image. Photographs drawn from the museum's collection for this exhibition include breathtakingly simple-and beautiful-seascapes by Hiroshi Sugimoto and evocative portrait images by Luis Gonzáles Palma. Also included is a newly acquired work by French photographer Sophie Calle. In this piece, the artist combines photographs and a written narrative to describe her misadventures as a maid in a Venetian hotel. A centerpiece of the show is a large-scale photographic installation, Communicating Vessels, by Cleveland-based artists Holly Morrison and Mary Jo Toles. Morrison and Toles' work is composed of 62 circular photographs of parts of the human body, including the brain (depicted through imaging from an MRI). The surreal images in Communicating Vessels serve as a subtle reference to the theme behind the work: the body's and the brain's movement between sleep and wakefulness and the differences and similarities between those two states.