Tim Barber Hisham Bharoocha Ports Bishop Mark Borthwick Michael Schmelling Tobin Yelland Futoshi Miyagi Leif Ritchey Jack Ritchey Yu Ukai
Mountain Fold is pleased to announce the opening of Anti-Hero, a group photography exhibition curated by Ports Bishop and Hisham Bharoocha. Anti-Hero presents ten contemporary photographers, whose work showcases diverse approaches to searching for the self through personal documentation. Coming from backgrounds ranging from commercial photography to autodidactic, Tim Barber, Hisham Bharoocha, Ports Bishop, Mark Borthwick, Michael Schmelling, Tobin Yelland, Futoshi Miyagi, Jack Ritchey, Leif Ritchey, and Yu Ukai make snapshot photographs that play with the possibility of transcendence through the fallibility and precariousness of the medium.
These photographs embody the paradox of the human eye operating a mechanical apparatus, while also being operated upon by the lens. Being positioned behind the camera simultaneously empowers the photographer, for he frames the view and acts upon his environment, and disempowers him, for he is removed from it. The documentary photographer is at once the director of the artwork, whose gaze establishes the story he wants to tell, and a fly on the wall, passively watching events unfold.
The photographers’ varying roles within their work raise the question of how they cast themselves in their own lives: if these photographs portray their stories, is the artist the hero-that traditional actor, who seeks to overcome obstacles to claim the life that he desires? Or the anti-hero, who understands himself as susceptible to and shaped by his observations as well as his ideals?
The identity of the photographic artist comes simultaneously from his perception and from the refracted image he steals. The scenes that surround him act as a vast mirror, into which he looks to find a true reflection of himself and his pathos: this is the anti-hero’s quest.
-Sophia Dixon and Cassie Kaufmann