Double//Take: Advanced Photography Exhibition

The Worth Ryder Art Gallery Presents:


Wednesday, April 16th – Saturday, April 26th, 2014
116 Kroeber Hall, UC Berkeley Campus

Open Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 12 – 5 pm
Opening Reception: Wednesday, April 16th, 4 – 7 pm

Featuring the student artists of Allan deSouza’s Advanced Photography class, including:

David Brickner
Helen Butler
Jennifer Church
Michael Drummond
Chang Gao
Emani Harris
Xiaoyu Ji
Aya Kashima
Dominic Kavanagh
Antonia Lira
Lenna Nguyen
Mayela Rodriguez
Aaron Sadwick
Julia Samokhvalova
Robin Simmonds
Alexandra Nicole Solis-Sison
Michael Stricherz
Sogole Tabatabaiepur
Ana Tenorio
Ella Tianshu Wang
Yongning Yang

Helen Butler, “These Days Between Trees”, Archival digital print, 12″ x 12″, 2014.

In her 1977 essay collection “On Photography” Susan Sontag suggests that painting and prose offer a “narrowly selective interpretation,” while photography functions as a “narrowly selective transparency.” Like any other medium, photography may be narrow and selective, but its transparency seems to provide a verifiable truth, or at least evidence of something that existed.

This exhibition utilizes photography in a variety of ways but proceeds from the “double take,” a second look that further complicates Sontag’s observation of photography as transparent, that seems to self-evidently provide a window onto the world. The artists in the exhibition are “taking” photographs, but also performing a doubling action. Their second look is one that re-views, re-photographs, re-configures, re-invents an already existing image or text; something that exists because it has been selected by a previous artist, photographer, poet, cartoonist, or by public usage or even by government institutions.

In performing this double take, the artists in the exhibition make apparent photography’s function as a visual language, one that is inherited, learned and re-invented. “To photograph,” as Sontag again reminds us, “is to appropriate the thing photographed. It means putting oneself into a certain relation to the world that feels like knowledge–and therefore, like power.” For a gallery within an art department within a university, this placing of the self in a certain relation to knowledge and power feels much like the role of education in general, and not just of photography.

– Allan deSouza

Emani Harris, “Identity (after Kerry James Marshall)”, Archival Pigment Print, 2014.

Jennifer Church, “Alive 2014″, Digital Print, 20″ x 24”, 2014.