Using various experimental photographic techniques and processes, Walead Beshty creates works that explore the relationship between images and the world, examining the ways in which photographs accrue and produce meaning. In series such as Picture Made by My Hand with the Presence of Light (2006), consisting of photograms that recall the work of avant-garde masters like Man Ray and Moholy-Nagy, Beshty considers the materiality of photographs and the apparatuses that create them, pointing to the ways in which such a “documentary” medium does not merely record the truth, but constructs it. Similarly, in 2001, after reading an article about the Iraqi Diplomatic Mission in the former East Berlin, he took several trips to Berlin to explore the abandoned building. When one roll of his film was inadvertently exposed to an airport X-Ray machine, Beshty discovered what has been a recurrent theme in his work, allowing the traces of his own travel—as well as the post-9/11 security landscape—to imprint themselves on his photographs. As the artist has written, “Photographs operate something like ruins; despite their seeming stasis, they are available to a multitude of narratives, slipping effortlessly between them.” Beshty’s work has been the subject of numerous exhibitions, including solo shows at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing (2011), the Hirshhorn Museum (2009), the Hammer Museum of Art in Los Angeles (2006) and MoMA PS1 (2004), and in group exhibitions at institutions such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Guggenheim, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Tate Britain. He was included in the 2008 Whitney Biennial and the 2009 iteration of MoMA’s New Photography exhibition series. ~ artspace.com
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