On View: February 1 - March 9, 2013
Opening Reception: Friday, February 1, 7-9pm
Civilian Art Projects is pleased to present Noelle K. Tan’s fourth solo exhibition with the gallery. In "An Excerpt From The Ongoing Anthology Of Abandoned Photographs", Tan questions the necessity of creative completion by showing a poetic assembly of images from intentionally unfinished projects. In her signature ultra black or ethereal white photographic style, Tan reveals sixteen previously unseen images of grand Parisian buildings dimly lit on the Seine; lonely stoic barns on a hillside, beaches illuminated by beads of light cast by an airplane, and more.
According to Tan:
Somebody once told me that Robert Frank had a collection of great images that didn’t belong with any specific project. He called these photographs orphans. This may not be true. However, true or false, it’s still intriguing enough to provide enough incentive to begin compiling this anthology. As this anthology grew, I came across a book about writers who don’t write. Writers who begin and never finish. Another book crossed my path - Nabokov’s The Original of Laura. His final, unfinished manuscript. 138 note cards published after his death. It’s called a “novel in fragments.” There is a lot of emphasis on finishing. Showing only completed bodies of work. Publishing finished manuscripts, or films, or performances. At minimum, creative endeavors that are “works in progress.” A question starts to form. Can unfinished work be meaningful? Not just unfinished, not even “works in progress”, but work never to be finished, work that is intentionally left unfinished. And if so, how meaningful? Is it possible for one or two photographs, to be in any way significant to an audience? The photographs in this collection are two or three images from projects I purposefully will not finish. This collection being exhibited is the place for my “orphan” images. This exhibit is an experiment looking to answer an unanswered question.
Noelle K. Tan earned her BFA from New York University and her MFA from California Institute of the Arts. Her work is widely collected and in permanent collections such as the Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, the Albright-Knox Gallery, the Center for Photography at Woodstock, and the Corcoran Museum. She received the prestigious Creative Capital grant in 2005. This is her fourth solo exhibition at Civilian.