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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 wordless hum. Others inhabit a place between enigma and science, suggesting embryology and reproductive processes in images of delicate radiance.

One group of pictures shows coiling concentric circles: halos of vivid color radiating from a central point of light, they seem to pulse with a deep optical

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