“If you want to build the future, you very often build the future out of fragments from the past, So the past can be toolbox. The past can be the future. I think it is very important that we find a way through curating to actually engage in a global dialogue. That is something which exhibitions can do, in space and in time, to try to resist the homogenization of time and space by creating very unexpected situations.” Hans Ulrich Obrist
Everything Must Go is Rafael Fuchs’ sixth installation at Fuchs Projects since it was founded in August of 2012. This time its a foray into a conceptual exploration of new possibilities made of out-takes that he found in one bag of rejected images from different assignments that he shot in the past. These images are now taken out of context, shuffled, combined with images that were created by him for personal projects around the same time , and juxtaposed as pairs or as installations that create a new elusive content. In some cases, a simple method of turning an image upside down gives it a second chance and makes it more pleasing esthetically, when the straight presentation of it is not flattering the subject in most common consciousness (as in the case of the images of Tony Shafrazi or Thelma Golden.)
There is no discrimination between editorial and art, between document and construct, between technology and affect. The pictures acquire their meaning from the salient way in which they have been shuffled, sequenced, and laid out in nonlinear narrative structures. Combining and recombining already decontextualized images, Fuchs at once subverts the photographs’ original roles and renews their signifying possibilities.
For example, in the the pair of images entitled, Black Christmas, where a portrait of an African American woman who is trying to conceal her breast, unsuccessfully (thus unselected before), is juxtaposed with an image of a faux black Christmas tree covered with artificial white snow. The other pairing, entitled, Spy Highway, is a portrait comprised of a man with a mustache who is holding a device that makes him look like a caricature of a spy, neighboring an image of a highway bridge in L.A. that was shot with analog film which was inadvertently exposed, resulting with a violet chromatic disruption. Priorly omitted, the image has found a new context, embracing its prior defect.
The title, Everything Must Go, comes from the notion of urgency of selling that was apparent at the time when the images were created, and that transcends to the new arrangement of the photographs. As Jonathan Franzen (who is one of the subjects in the photographs) says in regards to the complexity of taste making in America in his book “The Corrections”: “The problem was money and the indignities of life without it. Every stroller, cell phone, Yankees cap, and SUV he saw was a torment. He wasn’t covetous, he wasn’t envious. But without money he was hardly a man.”
Rafael Fuchs is considered by many as a photographers’ photographer. His practice in photography and videography is singular in it’s ability to seamlessly transition between commissions for clients and fine art exhibitions. He published 11 books up to date, and founded Fuchs Projects in Brooklyn, NY in August 2012, which is a hub for emerging and mid-career artists who are a part of the Bushwick art evolution and are creating challenging and educating works that are related especially to the photography media.
To see more work of the artist: http://rafaelfuchs.com