Monday, January 24, 2011

Artist Blog: Craig Kalpakjian

Corridor, 1997

Craig Kalpakjian's work has been described as being not a "photographic model of reality" but as a "disturbingly beautiful image that mimics photography's supposed representation of reality" (Craig Kalpakjian ). This is the keystone of this work, as Kalpakjian sets up these "reality-mimics" by digitally creating everything that is seen in the "photograph" straight from his own imagination, they show perfection based on nothing currently existing.. However, the moving point in this piece, and others like it, us that it represents a perfection of form and architecture, such as entrances, passages, corridors, objects and interiors, completely devoid of people (Craig Kalpakjian).
The fact that Kalpakjian's "photographs" call to mind real places, yet are not real places themselves, really strikes a chord in blurring the line between what we know and what we think we know. The image creates a sense of deja-vu, but at the same time also alienates the viewer through the pristine, beautiful, empty environment (Craig Kalpakjian). By showing these perfect, empty environments Kalpakjian sets out to invite everyone to the discussion of where we think our lives are at, but quietly suggests that we have already become integrated into a digitally thought of and digitally-connected world.
I think this work is very well thought out only because its use of a "digital medium" is so subtle. If the environments that Kalpakjian created were easily recognized as having been made/constructed by a computer, then I think the final product would have came off badly. By creating such a beautiful, yet "normal" looking environment, all our ideas about reality are skewed, but they are altered in a way that might require a good deal of time before we actually realize what we are or are not looking at. This project makes me think of how the "real" world and a "digital representation" of it are constantly being blurred together, and this may have shocking or unnerving results. The only thing that I think would affect my liking or disliking of this project would be to see it in it's original context/display. Having all of this additional commentary takes away from the "shock factor" of the piece. Seeing the piece as it was originally meant to be seen (not as a thumbnail on a blog) would really question what I am seeing.

1 comment:

  1. It is a pity we can't see the piece in its original context--I would love to see this in the flesh, since it is supposed to make us think about reality. I also think it is interesting that you talk about this as a "perfect" space that can only exist digitally--even now we create online communities on facebook or here on blogger that aren't as architectural, but still similar