THE LUBRICATED IMAGE
Dealing in a currency of impossibly sharp, colour-saturated photographs, painted frames and sculptural “apertures”, Los Angeles-based artist Elad Lassry works to activate and make manifest the psychology, nervousness and ways of looking that enshroud the photographic medium.
Lassry’s mode of speech tends to echo such sensibilities.
He is affable and easy to chat with, but almost frightfully articulate. His responses unfurl at a slow, considered
tempo – swathes of details revealing themselves with
every stanza. “I’m interested in looking at the photograph as something that carries this other experience, instead
of a picture-based experience,” he says. “There are several problems and enquiries I’m interested in exploring, relating to the psychology of the medium.”
That Lassry, who moved to LA at the age of 20 to study film, describes his work in terms of tension is significant. While one of his photographs might take a fluffy pedigree kitten
as its referent, its lurid infinity background, perfectly colour-matched frame and crystalline focus morphs the
cute and cuddly into the icily arcane. Apparently innocent and conventional images prove anything but, our initial read rendered problematic. “It’s a space that is extremely hard to negotiate,” says Lassry, who recently showed at Rotterdam’s Museum Boijmans as part of the institution’s commissioned Sensory Spaces series. “On the one hand, documenting something so accurately, you’re led to question what is normal… The more we try to process the image, the more destabilised we are.”
It’s an interrogation that has garnered Lassry his share of attention. In 2010, he was one of only four photographers (alongside Roe Ethridge, Alex Prager and Amanda Ross-Ho) selected to show as part of MoMA’s annual New Photography exhibition, while in 2011 he was nominated for the prestigious Deutsche Börse Photography Prize at the Photographers’ Gallery, London and showed as... Subscribe to read this article in full
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