Gregory Vershbow

art in a liminal space

 
 
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Construction sites, storage depots and conservation laboratories are transitional spaces of respite, reconstitution, and recontextualization for museum objects. Yet rather than neglected or seemingly at rest because they are not on public display, the artifacts in these spaces are animated by their new contexts: semi-concealed by foam or plastic wrap, they wear necklace tags of acquisition numbers, or are reframed by the juxtaposition of an adjacent stored work, or protected by metal grates or acetate sheets.

The new costumes, croppings, and optical paths afforded by the alternatives to exhibition space offer new moments in the historical trajectories of the objects. Some of them were made to be viewed by a large public and find a new calm when no longer on display, while others, intended for specific ritual functions or for limited and private use, now meet other agents than their original owners, in the form of the experts who tend to them, or the surrounding objects which intercept, cradle, or highlight.

In taking these photographs, I have found that the camera too acts as an agent, sometimes revealing an optical arrangement only visible via long exposure. For some pictures the exposure is so long that the subject is only visible in the photograph. Other pictures are made from multiple exposures. These composite images often have more than one vanishing point, or exhibit an optically impossible depth of field. I do not touch or rearrange these objects, but the camera creates spaces and events that add to the manifold ways in which artifacts from the past reveal new points of view.

 

 
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Gregory Vershbow's
photographs hinge between the imagined and the observed. His work consists of photographic series and narrative books that combine his photography with original drawings and text. Joining the history of science with art history, and working both digitally and with experimental chemistry, Vershbow seeks an alternative experience of the past and present. 

Vershbow received his MFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 2010 and his BA from Hampshire College in 2006. He is a 2011 alumnus of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. He currently teaches large-format photography at the Maryland Institute College of Art.

Vershbow’s books and photographs have been exhibited in solo and group shows on the east coast and in Europe. His work can be found in permanent collections including The Art Institute of Chicago, The Getty Museum, The Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and the National Academy of Sciences. Photographs from this series will be featured in a solo show at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore in the summer of 2013.