"WX6276, V8102, KU100382, X14149,
X13194, X10117, V8161, WX 6230: Seven Song Birds and a Rabbit"
The images in this installation are all from the Keystone Mast Archive of stereographic negatives housed at the California Museum of Photography at the University of California at Riverside. The Archive itself is a catalog of the known cultural and natural universe from an essentially 19th century European perspective. It is the visual manifestation of a desire to apply technology (photography) to apprehend and order reality. The archive represents an effort to hold the fleeting and separate the infinite into understandable bits of information.
The works in this exhibition have been appropriated from original glass stereo negatives. The subjects have been highlighted and printed onto photographic linen. The images are then framed in a manner vequely reminiscent of the 19th century library/archive. The literal subjects of the exhibition (song birds, a rabbit) are dynamic. Birds sing and rabbits move. Here, they are frozen and mute in an elegant physical manifestation of the desire to contain that which is dynamic and living. To quote Arthur Kestler, "structure is a static concept of a process frozen in the specious present."
JOHN DIVOLA, March 1995