To mark the occasion his recent monograph release, “Time and Tide, photographs from Praia Piquinia” (Chronicle Books, Spring 2013), the Jen Bekman Gallery is holding an exhibition of Christian Chaize in New York which features work from the Praia Piquinia series, as well as premieres an example from his new series, “La Lune”.
Nine years in progress, the Praia Piquinia series continues to evolve – a result of my compulsion and commitment to observing and photographing there at various times of the year, at different times of the day. Eventually, and logically, I started to look at night. Of course, it was only possible to make those photographs when the moon graced my efforts. And from the very first time I tried it, a new obsession pulled at me. In fact, it became instinctively imperative that I turn my focus towards the light.
We know the moon well…through storybooks, werewolf films, telescopes, planetariums, NASA photographs, charcoal drawings, rounds of cheese, and of course, in the sky. It occupies its familiar place in space, in legends, in our daily lives. Yes, we know the moon, though it may affect us in ways we don’t even recognize. And like the beach I often visit, like so many things taken for granted, I wanted to see it anew. I wanted to see it in detail. And I wanted to see it in grand dimensions.
The route was long and filled with hard won introductions, visits to observatories, experiments with various telescopes, lenses and cameras…at one point, I thought this new series should be made up of all my failures. But the subject was far and, after all, I was trying to “shoot the moon”. Over a year later, I finally arrived at the vision I’d hoped for. Using an assemblage of over 4500 photographs. I faithfully composed and enlarged them to arrive at a single image over two meters wide. Technically, I reached the limit of what one can presently shoot photographically from the Earth. The scale, the detail, the cropping…here, the moon is not so much floating in space, but rather, it is the space. Maybe, like me, you can now see it again for the first time.
Christian Chaize: Time and Tide
From April 27th through June 16th, 2013
6 Spring Street
10012 New York