Over/Time: Imaging Landscape
Tama Hochbaum June 29 – August 19, 2018
Night/University Place, 2017. Dye sublimation print on aluminum.
Photo courtesy of the artist.
Photo by Tama Hochbaum and Allen Anderson. Photo courtesy of the artist.
I have always made art that manifests the passage of time. This notion is evident in the work included in Over/Time: Imaging Landscape. Every image in this exhibition was captured with my iPhone, either directly with the phone’s camera or filtered through an app. After injuring my hand in 2011, I was not able to hold my very heavy SLR camera and began using my phone instead. I have never gone back.
I photograph both the wild and the tamed landscape, my theaters of exploration. Time and landscape coalesce in my work. The modular makeup of these pieces, many of them polyptychs, enhances that sense of experiencing yourself seeing, watching, and noting the seconds passing as your eye moves from panel to panel.
My very first work as an artist was an etching, Family Portrait, a composite portrait/landscape.
Over/Time: Family Portrait, 1973. Etching and Aquatint.
Image courtesy of Tama Hochbaum.
In it, time passes from inch to inch, from corner to corner and foreground to back. I drew from two photographs, one of my grandparents and one of my father as a toddler. In the studio portrait of my grandparents taken at the turn of the 20th century in Warsaw, Poland, there is a stage set – columns and a backdrop. In the portrait of my father as a young boy, there is a checkerboard floor. It was taken in New York, on the Lower East Side, where my immigrant family had fled, escaping the pogroms and the Russian army. There is both an interior and a landscape in the etching – the window casing and floor boards of my dorm room, the winter and spring of Massachusetts outside that window depicted simultaneously. There is a melding of locations and of eras in a single picture plane.
HochBaum (high tree) explores time while harkening back to my earliest image. I am, in a way, photographically drawing the very landscape in that etching. HochBaum starts with a grid of 35 separate images. I then insert additional images in Photoshop, layering on to this initial armature. I create a finished image by a partial erasure of the areas of joining, blending the edges, tending towards seamlessness, but always leaving a hint of mystery at the perimeter of the individual frame.
The modular, open-square structure in the Bi Squares, both Night/University Place and the three night pieces on paper, are named for the Neolithic Chinese bi discs that were thought to represent the heavens. The structure of my open-square photographs insists that you look round and round this squared-off circle, making connections between panels, always aware of the time it takes to make the trip. The empty center encourages one to meditate on both what has come before and what might come after.
Elm is a video tribute to a 100-year-old tree that fell in my yard last spring. I set my images to the Gloria from Igor Stravinsky’s Mass. Music, in its very being, embodies the passage of time. This music is poignant – beautiful and heartrending till the final amen. The opening brass/reed line and the haunting solo alto voice (my part during all the years I sang in choruses) feel quite close to my heart. There is a trace of myself in Elm, my shadow and a fleeting view of my feet. The alto voice, whether solo or in duet, is plaintive, and parallels my own very emotional reaction at the downing of this elm and my response to the loss.
The small crosses printed on metallic paper, cut out and mounted on matte paper, and the two large crosses on aluminum, are from my Cross/Walks portfolio. I took most of these photos on daily walks through woods near my home. My walking practice resulted in material for my work. I came to these crosses after almost three years of photographing indoors for two projects, beginning with the SILVER SCREEN portfolio (culminating in the publication of a monograph by Daylight Books) and the SILVER SCREEN: Dancers portfolio which followed. I used a grid structure for the dancers series. I found the grid to be most potent for portraying dancers, stopping time with each frame and then letting time progress in the construction and surveillance of the whole.
Moving out of doors, I continued using a multi-panel structure in the Cross/Walks. The cross was a simplification of the essential elements of the grid structure – the vertical and the horizontal. The vertical sections of these tree Cross/Walks become a self-portrait. My last name, Hochbaum, means high tree, my Hebrew name, Tamar, means date tree. My presence is felt in every piece. I begin with a shot of my feet and move up to the sky, documenting the tree in front of me. I then photograph the horizontal section, beginning to my very left, and then the span, 180º, frame by frame, moving all the way to my very right.
Glandon Road/Portal creates an open doorway by its very structure. You are invited to pass through, to walk, meander and contemplate while taking in the image on the portal. There is an open invitation in all of the pieces in this exhibition for you to occupy the space in some way, to include your own presence over time.
Shadow/Beech, 2016. Dye sublimation print on aluminum. Photo courtesy of the artist.
Glandon Road/Portal, 2017. Dye sublimation print on aluminum.
Photo courtesy of the artist.
Cypress/Sea Ranch II, 2018. Dye sublimation print on aluminum. Photo courtesy of the artist.
HochBaum, 2018. Metallic decal. Photo courtesy of the artist.
Artist Appearance Dates:
July 6, 2018: First Friday (free)
Creation Station available during regular CAM hours (free)
CAM to Go
July 6, 2018: First Friday (free)
Aloft Raleigh • Allen Anderson • Claire Anderson • Ellis Anderson • AV Metro • Brewery Bhavana • Celito • Cheryl Hazan Gallery • Citrix • Diego Cortez • C.T. Wilson Construction Company • The Derbyshire Family Fund • The Hartfield Foundation • Susan Hochbaum • Ella Ann and Frank B. Holding Foundation • Lewis R. Holding Fund of the Triangle Community Foundation • Tactile Workshop • Kane Realty Corporation/The Dillon • Robert P. Holding Foundation • International Farming Corporation • Bryce Lankard • George Lawson • Local Government Federal Credit Union • Michael Mazur • Ruocchio Designs • Sitelink • SureVest Insurance Group • Themeworks • Lori Vrba • Amy White • Womble Bond Dickinson • Gesche Würfel • The Betty Eichenberger Adams Society
“It is extraordinary for an artist to have a champion. I am lucky enough to have had quite a few. I want to thank them, and others who have helped me along the way.
I thank my parents, my father, Israel Hochbaum, who, though he would not live to see me beyond my very first work of art, loved and supported me in the deepest way; everything I do or make today is possible only because of him and my mother, Adele Hochbaum, who carried me through until she died.
Michael Mazur, my first champion, my teacher, mentor and dear friend, who showed me so many years ago what it meant to be an artist.
My family – my husband, Allen Anderson, who knows this work to its core, and without whom I could not begin to make it, would have no reason to make it; my children, Ellis and Claire Anderson, who have loved and supported the work itself and its making, all their lives; my sister, Susan Hochbaum, who has been my counsel for all things visual and otherwise, my companion and confidant, my hero, and the person who understands better than any other where all this work comes from.
George Lawson, who, for the last 9 years has championed my work, shown it in his gallery, pushed me to reach for the next thing, the deeper image, the wider scope.
Diego Cortez, who has made me question the work like no one else, and furthered my understanding of what it is I am looking to do.
Lori Vrba, my friend, my colleague, my bandmate, who advises, consoles, advocates for, inspires and rejoices with me.
Amy White, who has interpreted/speculated on/written about my work over the years and with whom every aspect of art and life gets discussed.
Gesche Würfel and Bryce Lankard, who introduced me to the folks at CAM Raleigh which began the process that eventually became Over/Time: Imaging Landscape.”
CAM’s education and community programs are funded by The Goodnight Education Foundation, the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust, IBM Community Grants, The SunTrust Foundation, the Dreamville Foundation, and United Arts of Raleigh and Wake County. The CAM to Go Initiative is funded by The Asha and Sajjan Agarwal Foundation.