Museum Exhibition Catalogues, Monographs, Artist's Projects, Curatorial Writings and Essays
"The First Law of Thermodynamics tells us that in the universe there is a finite amount of energy; it can neither be created nor destroyed. The same can not be said for significance. For human beings, with their persistent drive to generate meaning, there is an infinite amount of significance, and for photographers this is canon law. The photographs in The New Antiquity are attempts to pour little molds of meaning for the peripheral present to harden in; to document a very real faux-archeological significance as I tracked down ruined fragments of a very recent ancient past." Tim Davis, excerpted from his text to The New Antiquity.
Published by Damiani. Text by William Guerrieri, Tiziana Serena.
Photographer Tim Davis coined the term "ornitorinco" to describe the very contemporary condition of being between states in the digital environment, or "waiting for something digital to do its trick." In this monograph, Davis locates technologically induced prolonged pauses in scenes across contemporary Italy."
During a recent stint in Rome (on a Rome Prize Fellowship), photographer Tim Davis became drawn to the peculiar status of ancient ruins. “You are standing in a field in Italy, looking at a pile of rocks. You've seen rocks and these are rocks. But someone else—a friend, a guidebook, a scholar—sees a temple . . .” Fascinated with the degree of meaning making that we bring to bear upon such minimal visual cues, Davis tested this perceptual shift on suburban ruins—what he calls “a soon-to-be ancient past”—and found that it was possible to make pictures that “look like archaeology, but might just be the side of the road.” The photographs in The New Antiquity trigger in the viewer that wonderful cognitive bafflement of which Davis is a virtuoso: a kind of “seeing as” that allows us to completely reconceive what is actually quite ordinary (albeit beautifully photographed) everyday imagery. The New Antiquity proves that the suburban landscape is uniform and global not only in its pristine props, but also in its decay. And as Davis notes, “The Imperial Romans did the same, shipping marble from Tunis to Turkey. This New Antiquity doesn't come from a centralized authority, but spreads virulently through all fertile capital markets. And its rise and ruin occur quickly . . .”
Published by Aperture. Essays by Jack Hitt and Tim Davis.
This first in-depth publication of photographer Tim Davis's work dissects the disenchantment and dissociation that have come to dominate American civil life. It is Davis's treatise on the state of contemporary politics, politics as an aestheticized banality abstracted from real issues of power. He finds freedom of expression exhibited at its most casual and cursory, with political, commercial and populist signage jostling for space and attention in the social landscape: His documentation of that landscape, as Peter Eeley of Frieze magazine interprets it, asks, "What if campaign signs, badges, bumper stickers and flags aren't simply the ephemera of Americans' political lives, but their substance as well?" My Life in Politics represents photographic seeing at its finest and most subtle. Davis continues Stephen Shore's colorist tradition, meshing the careful management of a quotidian palette with an incisive eye for those points at which light bends and refracts, becoming something other than mere illumination.