san-francisco

H. G. Kaiser, Sun Cycle Taken Dec 21–17. Looking South from Gov. Hill, 1917, gelatin silver print, 5 3/4 x 7 1/2". From “The Unphotographable.”

“The Unphotographable”

Fraenkel Gallery

H. G. Kaiser, Sun Cycle Taken Dec 21–17. Looking South from Gov. Hill, 1917, gelatin silver print, 5 3/4 x 7 1/2". From “The Unphotographable.”

Since its invention, photography has been defined by its indexical capacity to document the visible world—what Barthes famously called its “that-has-been.” “The Unphotographable,” as Fraenkel Gallery titled its recent show, challenged this received truth, unearthing, according to curator and gallery owner Jeffrey Fraenkel, “a parallel history in which photographers and other artists have attempted to describe by photographic means that which is not so readily seen: thought, time, ghosts, god, dreams.” Spanning a broad historical and conceptual terrain—from nineteenth-century spiritualist and scientific experiments to twentiethcentury pictorialist and documentary traditions, amateur images, and contemporary abstract, cameraless, and lensless practices—the fiftyplus works on view raised more questions than they answered about the ontology of photography and its status

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