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by Miranda Lichtenstein

Loose Joints is proud to present Recorder, an immersive new book of works by American photographic artist Miranda Lichtenstein. For nearly two decades, Lichtenstein has worked in varied subgenres within photography’s historical archetypes: marginalized contemporary landscapes, refracted still life, performance-based portraiture and process-oriented abstraction. In Recorder, Lichtenstein embarks on an ambitious three-part series of images that recycle and reorient themselves within the limits of technology and photographic vision. 

Every image in Lichtenstein’s layered artist book departs from a singular work: Welcome Water, where Lichtenstein collaborated with J. Stoner Blackwell to make flatbed scans of the artist’s delicate sculptures derived from disposable carrier bags, which were then cut out and stitched into a sprawling sculptural floorpiece. Meditating on the waste and burdensome environmental significance of these single-use plastic objects, Lichtenstein accumulated and activated the detritus of Welcome Water, using the negative cutouts and test-prints of the work to recycle them into new photographic forms.

The results are three series that are both distinct and inseparably intertwined: Holes, a series of black-and-white images reworking Blackwell’s delicate laser-cut interventions to the carrier bags; Grounds, a physical layering of leftover cutout shapes, pinned and affixed, leaving a gaping void at the photographic centre; and finally, Untitled, Lichtenstein’s boldest foray into abstraction, where her source materials were repeatedly printed and scanned, sometimes up to thirty times, to create a giddying and vertiginous collaboration with the entropy of print technology. These works are layered with ink, program errors, exaggerations and obfuscations, eventually liberating her source material into pure free-form visual abstraction.

Lichtenstein creates images that are at once challenging and seductive, setting forth a chain reaction of feedback loops in which pictorial space is filled and mutated through collaboration with and against the limits of imaging technologies. Recorder contains profound depths and coalescent shapes that never fully resolve themselves, but within this profundity a clear thread can be drawn, connecting the push-and-pull of photography’s tendency to both record and obscure, with a meditation on waste, consumption, and the environmental changes set loose by the anthropocene. 

Miranda Lichtenstein is an artist based in Brooklyn, New York. Solo exhibitions of her work have been held at The UCLA Hammer Museum (Los Angeles), The Whitney Museum of American Art at Philip Morris (New York), Gallery Min Min (Tokyo), Elizabeth Dee Gallery (New York) and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Tucson (Arizona). She has participated in institutional group exhibitions at the Guggenheim Museum (New York), Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Washington D.C), Renaissance Society (Chicago), Musee Marmottan Monet (Paris), Stadthaus Ulm (Germany), MASS MoCA (North Adams, MA) and the New Museum of Contemporary Art (New York), among others. She has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Rome Prize, and fellowships at Civitella Ranieri in Umbria, Italy, and the Versailles Foundation Munn Artist Program in Giverny, France. Lichtenstein is Associate Professor at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University where she is currently a Fellow at the Center for Cultural Analysis.

Size : 222 × 285 mm
Page : 104
Year : March 2021
Publisher : Loose Joints

All photos by Loose Joints

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