Stephen Frailey

  • THIN AIR: THE PHOTOGRAPHS OF ADAM FUSS

    The trilling wire in the blood sings below inveterate scars.

    —T. S. Eliot, “Burnt Norton”

    A PHOTOGRAPH IS USUALLY described first by naming what is visible and tangible before proceeding to that which is parenthetical or ephemeral; the photograph’s mimetic capacity tends to lead it away from the fleeting and elusive, from the province of music or poetry. But Adam Fuss’ images traffic primarily in peripheral sensation. Less representational than percussive, certain photographs suggest sound—a plucked string or a minute fluttering of the vocal chords, emerging from the throat in a

  • SEEING THE SCENE: KARL JOHNSON WITH “BAPTISM OF SOLITUDE,” A PROJECT FOR ARTFORUM

    In the autumn of 1989 a posse of technicians occupied the cliff district of Tangier. Leather-colored tents were erected on the beach. Wiring was dragged through the door of a cavernous house as low and chalky as the others around it. Utilities and trucks collected heat just beyond the arch that crowns the Casbah. The path leading down from it, bordered on one side by the crumbling facades and on the other by a perilous drop to the sea below, was virtually off-limits to the usual straggler.

    Instead of fabricating an earthy claustrophobic chamber with milky-green walls in a film studio, and filling