Lynne Cohen at KWAG-I couldn’t connect

KWAG opening 2014 002

I ran down to KWAG for the opening of photographer Lynne Cohen’s show with my main man Calder last night. No photography allowed (ironically) indoors, so you get this shot from out front of the gallery. Calder doesn’t like that it’s “jaggy”, but that’s exactly what I was going for. I feel a small panic in my heart as my two kids seem to be streaking through adolescence. I can’t see them as well as I used to when they were younger. They move too fast. But this is exactly what is supposed to happen. They grow up. Guess I have to change, too.

Now, Lynne Cohen’s (who just passed away this year in May) work is technically awesome. Thanks to Rob Farnham and Dave Mansell who explained what a field camera is when we met them at the show, and after they recovered from the shock of me not knowing. It’s the big old bellows camera, hood over your head, focus on ground glass type of deal. Cohen used that indoors to shoot other-worldly scenes of hotel lobbies, pools, and military installations. The prints are huge with fantastic colour. Based on the reverence that people speak of Cohen, I take it that I should be loving this work. But it is devoid of people. Intentionally. I couldn’t connect. It’s like my thing with Ansel Adams. And the funny thing is I myself take photos featuring no humans, and sometimes whole series like that. So how to reconcile that?

The important thing is that you see the work and make up your own mind. Apathy is the only enemy.


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