Photographer Chris Engman is one of his landscape photos at a large scale in an unusual way: instead of showing it as a 2D print, Engman transformed a room into his photo by covering the wall, ceilings, and floors with prints.
From a certain vantage point when looking into the room, you’ll see the entire photo as it was captured. Walk into the room or view it from an alternative angle, however, and you’ll see how portions of the frame have been stretched out to provide the perspective illusion.
Over three hundred individual prints were used to turn the space into the photo of a stream in a forest. The piece is titled “Containment”.
“I believe photography derives its power precisely from the fact it can’t be entered, however much we may want to,” the photographer tells Colossal. “When I make photographs I try to be mindful of this, even to exploit it.”
This is the first time Engman’s work is open for visitors to step into. While previous works have used the same type of technique and illusion, they have not been public exhibition spaces.
“The tension between illusion and material is exhibited in these works most notably by the different ways in which paper is used to construct images,” Engman writes in his series statement for Prospect and Refuge. “In the piece titled Refuge, for example, the image of the wooded scene was printed onto over 150 pieces of paper and then physically cut and affixed to walls and objects within an architectural space. The room itself was then photographed and the resulting image printed onto a single sheet of photo paper.
“In the case of the former, the physical properties of paper are acknowledged. In the case of the latter (and this applies to the majority of photographs), everything about the presentation is designed to deny that the paper exists at all. What matters and is emphasized is the illusion, or, if you like, the lie.”
“Containment” is being exhibited in the 2018 FotoFocus Biennial at the Cincinnati Arts Association’s Alice F. and Harris K. Weston Art Gallery in Cincinnati, Ohio, through November 18th, 2018. Engman will also be holding a solo exhibition at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles in February 2019.
Image credits: Header photo by Tony Walsh. Courtesy of the artist and Luis De Jesus Los Angeles.