here are four from a group of eight 22" x 22" photographic c-prints from the New. New York exhibition at the Essl Museum in Vienna (November 2012 through April 2013). the works can be thought of as performance documentation. using machines he builds that project light, cwm explores duration and space in these long exposure photographs. we surround ourselves with machines that accelerate our lives, but in these performances, often more than an hour long, the slow-moving machines reduce our focus to a pinpoint lazily caressing and highlighting the surfaces of the space (and often the artist himself). in the near darkness of the performance (and in the resulting photographs), the boundaries between objects, dimensions of the architecture, and distinction between body and space become unclear. space, the immediacy of which dominates contemporary life, is rendered unavailable to us. or, rather, it is rendered at an exploded scale of duration and freshly re-presented to us.
david hockney claimed one couldn't look at a photograph for more than a split-second because that's all the time the photograph contained. as the chemistry of photography has advanced in the almost two centuries since Nicéphore Niépce's breathtaking photograph "View from the Window at Le Gras" (which took hours and hours of full sunlight to expose), the exposure times have become shorter and shorter. an hour. seven minutes. twelve seconds. half a second. one thousandth of a second. cwm's work uses time to interrogate the history of photography and reinterpretation its origins.
the photographs that result are documentation that exceeds the performance itself, a kind of archive of an event that, in a sense, never really took place. in this abstracted map of place (which often shares none of the minimalism of its performance) some details are highlighted and others obliterated. the level abstraction is often so high that these images constitute a map of time more than of space.
being is revealed to us through time. in our daily lives the immediacy of space is arresting; but, in these photographs, cwm suggests that it may be worthwhile to suspend this illusion of immediacy in order to step into the open of duration and receive anew the gift of being.