Through walking, riding, scraping the surface of the earth, marking spaces with string and tape and creating observable conditions of change, Bill Vazan has created situations for heightening our awareness of sites of terrestrial passage and occupation. While geography is the disciplinary study of the planet, geosophy (a concept introduced only in 1947) is vernacular geographical knowledge, or how the planet is commonly known, sensed. conceived or imagined, rather than how it is known and understood by academic geographers.
While VOX has long been associated with the socially grounded photographic work of documentary, they have adopted for this occasion a more inclusive sense of documentary’s mis sion and its means. Instead of just the prosaic tone of “straight” photography, we have more lyricism, fiction, uncertainty, speculation and aestheticism.
As has been said of the pyramids, that their construction is as much a monument to Egyptian administration as a triumph of ancient engineering, so does this show present both visual delight and a model of organizational innovation.
Over the last two decades, both installation and contemporary photography were empowered by a suspicion of the cult of the marketable art object — specifically, the commodity fetish. Yet, while historically contiguous, and often sharing a common audience, the strategies of the two modes are completely different.
The exhibition of collections differs from other exhibitions in that rather than being organized by unities of origin — individuals, schools, periods, nations, etc. — a collection forms a group of works defined by their destination : the location of their arrival and reception. Collections of contemporary art differ, again, from those of past art by reason of the coextensivity of creation and receipt.