dublin

Aleana Egan, Meanwhile, 2013, steel, fabric, 9' 10 1/8“ x 11' 6” x 4' 11 1/8".

Aleana Egan

Kerlin Gallery

Aleana Egan, Meanwhile, 2013, steel, fabric, 9' 10 1/8“ x 11' 6” x 4' 11 1/8".

A tiny photograph from Aleana Egan’s recent exhibition “The Sensitive Plant” bears the title 13/1 Sunnypark, Ballygunge, Calcutta, India. Circa 1957 (all works 2013). This precise postal address and approximate date offer some basic context for an otherwise puzzling image: a found snapshot, more than half a century old, showing the unrevealing facade of a grand residence and its elegant, well-tended garden. Hanging directly alongside this image was a second such picture, identical in size and format, and broadly corresponding in content. And yet Egan offered only the following description: Untitled, found photograph. In one case, textual clues point to the coordinates of a possible historical backstory. In the other, a deliberate lack of information leaves us only with what is available to the eye: the constrained, low-key formal effects of the photograph itself.

Egan’s pairing of

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the September 2013 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.