Critics’ Picks

Carter Seddon, Computer, 2015, archival inkjet print, 11 ¾ x 14 ½".

Carter Seddon, Computer, 2015, archival inkjet print, 11 ¾ x 14 ½".

Los Angeles

Carter Seddon

4220 Sunset Boulevard
August 8–September 19, 2015

In his latest suite of technically rich black-and-white ink-jet prints, closely cropped by mattes in the modernist style, Carter Seddon takes up the mantle of mundane yet piercing still lifes practiced by photographers’ photographers as diverse as Walker Evans and Moyra Davey. Subjects include Ikea packaging and a “wellness formula” nutrition label. In Computer (all works 2015), a single hair echoes the round corner of a MacBook. Canvas depicts dark flecks marring an otherwise clean warp and weft. Indeed, the slight tragedies of grime on pristine image planes emerge as a preoccupation. Moving from film to ink-jet prints, from life to art, Seddon preserves the “errors” of his scans. In Eye, thin cracks prick a zoomed-in eye displayed on an iPhone screen; a puff of dust on the scanner bed seems to dot the iPhone’s protective film. The neatly linear hang obtains, again, a traditional sense of sequencing. Adjacent Eye is Cobweb, photo of a cobweb at night, which flash-lit threads fracture the black ground like the picture has been dropped.

Printed, matted, framed—lensed images of glass screens under plastic—“transparent” layers stack between Seddon’s eye and ours. Such meditations on mediation predate the medium; traditional, yes—but outdated they are not. These photos cite a desire to share private moments that, regardless of technology, will probably persist—that time when a cigarette cellophane looked like glass, or a hair felt like a slice.