Scott Wiener: The Luxury of Distance
North from Prisoner’s Barrack at Mittelbau-Dora, 2009
(© Scott Patrick Wiener)
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The Luxury of Distance, Scott Wiener’s new exhibit of eleven large photographs at 92nd Street Y’s Weill Art Gallery, tackles the thorny issue of representations of the Holocaust. Wiener’s starting point is Theodor Adorno’s statement, “To write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric.” Acutely aware that depictions of the concentration camps ultimately aestheticize them, Wiener seeks to create what he calls “a kind of poetry in reverse” – using the traditional photographic language of beauty in nature combined with our knowledge of where the photographs were taken.
Wiener also recognizes that while we all use photographs to help us re-constitute the past, those photographs are not themselves the past– they are mnemonic devices at best. Rather than fight the gap between our internal sense of the past and the current reality of photographs, Wiener makes use of it. As Robert Gilson, the Director of 92nd Street Y’s School of the Arts, notes, Wiener’s “deliberate act of turning away and photographing the landscape is as much an act of defiance as it is a recognition of the inability to convey the horror of the past in the reality of the present.”
Wiener has exhibited his work at Enlarge image Southeast from Isolation Barrack (for Prominent Inmates) at Buchenwald, 2010 (© Scott Patrick Wiener) Boston’s Proof Gallery and other Massachusetts venues as well as in Brooklyn, Gainesville, Florida, Chicago and Leipzig, Germany, where he travelled on a German Academic Exchange Service Scholarship. He studied at Massachusetts College of Art (BFA), The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (MFA) and The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2010); he currently teaches at Brandeis University.
About 92nd Street Y
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Location and time:
The Milton J. Weill Art Gallery at 92nd Street
1395 Lexington Ave
The exhibition will be on view from March 3 through May 7, 2012. The opening reception will be held on Saturday, Mach 3 from 5 to 7 p.m.