new-york

Mac Adams

Freidus/Ordover Gallery

Narrativity has been an element central to Mac Adams’ work since the photographic “Mysteries,” 1972–80. In these (usually) composite images Adams constructed mise-en-scènes based on typical crime fiction genres; objects “innocent” or without meaning in themselves, through their contexts, became clues or signs loaded with a sinister significance. A particular configuration of such signs—a disorderly bathroom, for instance—could be narrated as the afterimage of a criminal or violent act. The work spoke about the nature of interpretation, or, more specifically, about our desire to organize the visible world into rational meaning. Adams’ recent work, however, shows an acceptance of the limitations of rational thought, and indeed of the limitations of the photographic representation, whose “facticity” renders it inappropriate to express our relation to a world fraught with ambiguity. Although

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