Monday, February 7, 2011

Sam Samore

'Stumbled upon another interesting contemporary artist this morning: Sam Samore. The marriage of photography and cinema attracts me, and Sam's work has some of both. "Long considered one of the pioneers of large-scale conceptual photography in the 1980’s, Samore is well known for his earlier series of photographic work such as Allegories of Beauty (Incomplete) and Situations."

Explore and decide for yourself. Remember that it took you many tries before you found your adult taste in food, and it's the same with contemporary art.

Contemporary Art Daily
... Cinema and sculptural tableau underscore the photographic and filmic works of Sam Samore. Narratives with enigmatic plot linesbheighten the psychological pull of the actors’ performances. Often framed in classical compositions the new work’s saturated color has a fauvist intensity while capturing a painterly effect: Caravaggio’s intense chiaroscuro contrasts combined with Godard’s filmic use of the digital in his later work allows Samore to create rich “analog” contrasts. ...

Journal of Contemporary Art
Jerome Sans: Many writers have projected the discourse of surveillance into your photographs.

Sam Samore: I continue the photographs as one of my projects into the 1990s, but for me these pictures encourage the idiosyncratic, unpredictability of the viewing subject. They open up a space for the imaginary to roam, sans frontières. The large photographs, about the same size as our bodies, have a physical presence, but are the big and empty, like the dark cinema and absorb the projection of our desires, our fears. There is pleasure of the body — so I can linger on eyes, lips, ears, noses in all their infinite variety of sensual, fetishist, fantastic worlds. These photographs display a mixture of the surreal and the real. The small photographs measuring only a few centimeters are lost in the actual space of a wall, attached directly, with no distancing of the frame. I must put my face into it, my nose pressing against the piece of paper. Does it have a smell? Does it have a taste? To be devoured, these delectable crumbs are at the limits of visibility. I see people, but I cannot make out if there is a drama. Perhaps if I stare long enough, something will happen. There is hardly anything there in front of me, but obsessively I keep looking. ...

... Playing the role of both actor and director, Samore stages his own death in various ways—strangled with a telephone cord, asphyxiated, overdosed—and examines a macabre psychology in works that are both cinematic and documentary. These black and white pictures evoke both contemporary film noir and a crime scene investigation, and also offer an eerie take on the self-portrait. A sense of absurdist humor and the tragicomic is evident in a number of works in the exhibition. In one picture from the 1973 series, a poster in the background offers an image of a hand holding a flower, and the encouraging words: "Hang onto life for all it's worth." In another, the victim has had the air sucked out of his lungs with a vacuum cleaner. Samore's work suggests a narrative beyond that which is immediately evident. The viewers, questioning what appears before them, are themselves investigators at the scene of a drama. ...

Le Meridien
... Writer and photographer Sam Samore developed an interest in fairy tales when he was small. “My mom and dad told me lots of stories,” Samore says. His work as a photographer and as a writer requires him to mine both conscious and subconscious experience, experiences as Samore puts it, that “might relate to love, or death, or beauty.” Using a technique called “cinemascope,” Samore tells fractured, poetic narratives that often defy and change one’s expectations of a fairy tale.

Thinking of fairy tales as a shared experience, Samore feels that a reader or viewer becomes connected creatively to the narrator. “My interest is a kind of alienation that we experience from each other so that we don’t always say what we really think to each other so we experience the world as something separate from each other,” Samore says. This connection happens on a conceptual level, but it’s a connection that’s reinforced through Samore’s technique. “I use the grain in the pictures as a texture, a kind of layering and abstraction. In this way, you not only see an image but you also feel something,” Samore says ...

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