[Photography] is, rather, the world's primary way of revealing itself to us – of demonstrating that it exists, and that it will forever exceed us.*
Soloway is pleased to present Analogy, an exhibition of photographs by Steel Stillman. Analogy brings together a dozen Polaroid photographs from the late '80s and early '90s of drawings traced from found family albums and sets them alongside recent digital prints of three photographs taken by the artist between 1985 and 2013. The Polaroids–all are about 3 ½ by 4 ½ inches–are from a series called Transparencies [1986-1993], in which ink drawings on clear acetate are placed on a tinfoil-lined light box and photographed from the front. By contrast, the larger digital prints – the largest is 5 by 6 feet – are relatively straight photographs from Stillman's Enlargements series [2015-ongoing], pictures that he's been taking with snapshot-type cameras since his teens and has only recently begun printing. The juxtaposition of these distinct bodies of work reflects, among other things, two ways of questioning the relationship between time and photography, especially with respect to individual lives and experience. Whether by making Polaroids that reanimate people who may well have been dead, their places and things long forgotten, when their found photographs were traced, or by enlarging anonymous moments from more recent decades, Stillman stitches together recurring iconic motifs – figures, houses, landscapes – in a shadow play that locates the past as a figment of our material and psychological present.