Ellen Carey Lecture with Cyan Studio, Oslo Norway
Saturday, March 27, 2021
Ellen Carey, a Pictures Generation contemporary and member of Buffalo's avant-garde — Cindy Sherman and Robert Longo — upends the medium's collective histories in art and technology with abstract, minimal "picture" signs.
Photography Degree Zero and Struck by Light names her twin practices, while Pictus & Writ supports her creative tripod with writing. The Royal Photographic Society (RPS) named Carey one of the top 100 women photographers worldwide - Hundred Heroines - one of 14 Americans.
She emphasizes drawing with light, photography's indexical; light with color, underscored in process and approach, is her performative record: a visual all - or - nothing (zero). Her photographs no longer represents object-subject relations but rather the twin interplay of light and shadow, stark in black and white minimalism while freeing color itself into a kaleidoscope of abstraction.
Well developed in the 20th century in — Abstract Expressionism, Minimal, Conceptual Art — Carey's photographic pictures of nothing upend the medium's collective histories asking us now: "What is photography?" Or "Is it a photograph"?