NO STONE UNTURNED
Mar 12 – Apr 24, 2021
The large-scale photographs by American artist Jay Mark Johnson achieve something ordinarily impossible for photography: by means of a modified panoramic camera they record continuous movement. In doing so, Johnson breaks with established ways of seeing and creates a new visual language, one that at first may appear enigmatic to the beholder. At the same time he adjusts the parameters of his recording in such a manner that the visual shifts remain rather subtle. The strong visual appeal of his carefully arranged compositions arises from the tension between the seemingly familiar and the mysteriously different.
In terms of content the de-familiarized appearances effected by Johnson's photographic technique also serve the purpose of questioning habitual modes of perception and reading. The exhibition NO STONE UNTURNED is dedicated to the oftentimes invasive, shortsighted and non-holistic encroachments wrought on nature by man, be it through mining, deforestation, urban sprawl, traffic, warfare, or tourism. The progressive destruction of our natural environment as an ongoing development is reflected in the time-based character of his photographs. A particular focus is on the juxtaposition between nature and technology exemplified by heavy machinery, as in the works "Fly Rock" and "Carbon Dating", both photographed in Kentucky, USA, as well as "Off To Be Milked By Machines" from New South Wales, Australia. Some of the images from Kenya and Zimbabwe also betray forms of human intrusion in the guise of safari tourism, such as "AMBOSELI #126" and "MAASAI MARA #134". Others, presenting untarnished landscapes, provide hope for a more wholesome treatment of the last remaining natural reserves left on the planet.