Von Lintel Gallery is pleased to present Land’s End, the first New York solo exhibition by San Francisco–based photographer John Chiara.
Chiara takes stunning landscape photographs that involve much more than what is in front of the camera. They are, in essence, images of photography itself. Chiara operates a hand-built, room-sized camera that is mounted on a flatbed trailer. He works inside the camera, physically becoming a part of the process. During the long exposures, he dodges and burns by passing his hands in front of the camera’s lens. The one-of-a-kind, positive images are then developed utilizing an adapted sewer pipe that he fills with photo chemicals.
To take his pictures, Chiara works by the side of the road and points his giant camera at in-between landscapes—obstructed, fenced, developed, commodified, and littered with invasive marks of human presence. But Chiara turns these places into images of memory, of seeing, of light and the means of its recording, and ultimately, into a map of photography itself.
The photographs are at once ephemeral and monumental. Even at a scale of 50 by 60 inches, they retain the intimacy of a snapshot. Chiara is a powerful observer and his sense of discovery permeates these beautiful, intense images. His subversion of the photographic process goes beyond a simplistic critique of the authority and veracity of the medium. Chiara takes us into far more personal and ultimately sublime territories.