Jeff Conley – Granary Beam

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Jeff Conley, Granary Beam (2009). Gelatin silver print (20” x 20”)
On view at Charles Hartman, Shine (winter group show; January 2 – February 28, 2014)

Jeff Conley’s Granary Beam (2009) is like looking at a slice of time. The concentric rings, one for each year, show the steady passage of the seasons and, to the close observer, fluctuations in weather. But the network of cracks and fractures, some paralleling the annual rings and others cutting right through them, seem to tell a different story. They show us how the steady accumulation of years can be cracked and reordered. In this case, it’s presumably just a matter of the wood drying out and starting to split, but this pressure seems palpable in this photo and it makes me think of those big events, personal or collective, that reorder history, reopen the past, and maybe change the future.

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