san-francisco

McDermott & McGough

Fraenkel Gallery

Grover Cleveland has just been elected President of the United States; Sir Francis Galton is busy proving the individuality of fingerprints; H. G. Wells is dreaming about The Time Machine; and George Eastman is set to begin manufacturing coated photographic paper.

As we accelerate toward the end of the 20th century, retro-graphers David McDermott and Peter McGough are doing everything they can to evoke and inhabit the end of the 19th. In their latest attempt to create a “perfect time machine,” Messrs. McDermott and McGough have focused on the year 1884, presenting a series of photographs purportedly made around that time, depicting parlor demonstrations of scientific principles and curiosities. Each palladium print is meticulously framed in richly stained wood with aged glass. Gold-leafed tags bear titles such as Mode of Formation of Rings of Smoke, 1884, Experience of Equilibrium with

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