Dead Ends

Frank Callaghan
Silverlens, Manila

Installation Views

About

    Silverlens Galleries is pleased to present Dead Ends, an exhibition by Frank Callaghan.

    I can only describe a picture, a singular picture. To find words, I resolved to view the given photographs repeatedly, in changing order, throughout this task until their elements overlap and the boundaries between each one become fluid, indistinct. I do this to inhabit the picture- or more precisely, the moment it was made. I see now that it couldn’t have been a snapshot. Devoid of urgency and haste, I sense no hurry, no danger. I see an iris held open long enough that what it captures is no longer an instant but a wave of moments slowly impressing upon a sensor, information casually gathered, layers of vibrancies building up.

    But there is another picture, although unseen, indeed a missing portrait. It is a picture of a wanderer, a seeker of unplanned beauty negotiating a new and unfamiliar, rigid, almost fortified city. With brick upon layered brick, an intelligent system of walls simultaneously obstructs and directs both view and movement. In the few instances that I played RPG (role-playing) video games, I remember feeling a slight let down whenever I reach the edge of an area in a given stage, parts of the made-up city that the character cannot breach, where he can go no further. Apart from the anxiety that comes from being disoriented and lost, this also exposes the limits of the designed environment and the game loses its spell, momentarily surrendering me back to reality. Still, with the right instincts, one can learn to adapt and behave as the restrictive surroundings dictate. A recalibration ensued; to operate akin to an autonomous space rover programmed to survey and gather proof of life in alien terrain. Each retrieved specimen, framed, with the verticals true and taken always head on, with resolute logical measure, faithful and leveled against an unseen horizon. Only, this rover has learned to feel and embedded within its findings is a realization, a distilled truth writ in a secret language we are all free to decode.

    Truth be told, I actually came close to saying that this wanderer has in fact only taken photographs of light, and perhaps its artifacts. Observe: a hint of night sky in unreal painterly hues, out of frame street lamps beaming on impenetrable but defenseless walls, of shadows- here intersecting to conjure a phantom cube, there softly brushing a brick wall with the outline of leaves and quite intriguingly, more than a few times, of actual bulbs- centrally figured, lighted, cold yet pulsating, alive. But I stopped short of saying this because it is only a guess. As a detective, I am one that rarely asks questions- out of timidity perhaps or the uneasiness that comes in confirming a hunch. And as I get closer, it becomes harder to ask. I contend to quietly look and be at peace with what I find.

    Photographs, if we could agree, are meant to be looked at, seen. The picture we arrived at is not a memento to be kept in a breast pocket; the space it commands is much more expansive. And here it has been freely offered to us to be entered, be immersed and get lost in, explored.

    Words by Gary-Ross Pastrana.

    Frank Callaghan (b.1980) is a Manila-based artist known for his large-scale photographs of nighttime landscapes. He grew up in Baguio City and pursued a Degree in Economics at the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania before becoming a full-time photographer. His work has been exhibited in Manila, Singapore, the US, Hong Kong, and Singapore. He was shortlisted for the Ateneo Art Awards in 2010 for Anatomy of Autonomy and in 2011 for Shattering States.

Silverlens Galleries is pleased to present Dead Ends, an exhibition by Frank Callaghan.

I can only describe a picture, a singular picture. To find words, I resolved to view the given photographs repeatedly, in changing order, throughout this task until their elements overlap and the boundaries between each one become fluid, indistinct. I do this to inhabit the picture- or more precisely, the moment it was made. I see now that it couldn’t have been a snapshot. Devoid of urgency and haste, I sense no hurry, no danger. I see an iris held open long enough that what it captures is no longer an instant but a wave of moments slowly impressing upon a sensor, information casually gathered, layers of vibrancies building up.

But there is another picture, although unseen, indeed a missing portrait. It is a picture of a wanderer, a seeker of unplanned beauty negotiating a new and unfamiliar, rigid, almost fortified city. With brick upon layered brick, an intelligent system of walls simultaneously obstructs and directs both view and movement. In the few instances that I played RPG (role-playing) video games, I remember feeling a slight let down whenever I reach the edge of an area in a given stage, parts of the made-up city that the character cannot breach, where he can go no further. Apart from the anxiety that comes from being disoriented and lost, this also exposes the limits of the designed environment and the game loses its spell, momentarily surrendering me back to reality. Still, with the right instincts, one can learn to adapt and behave as the restrictive surroundings dictate. A recalibration ensued; to operate akin to an autonomous space rover programmed to survey and gather proof of life in alien terrain. Each retrieved specimen, framed, with the verticals true and taken always head on, with resolute logical measure, faithful and leveled against an unseen horizon. Only, this rover has learned to feel and embedded within its findings is a realization, a distilled truth writ in a secret language we are all free to decode.

Truth be told, I actually came close to saying that this wanderer has in fact only taken photographs of light, and perhaps its artifacts. Observe: a hint of night sky in unreal painterly hues, out of frame street lamps beaming on impenetrable but defenseless walls, of shadows- here intersecting to conjure a phantom cube, there softly brushing a brick wall with the outline of leaves and quite intriguingly, more than a few times, of actual bulbs- centrally figured, lighted, cold yet pulsating, alive. But I stopped short of saying this because it is only a guess. As a detective, I am one that rarely asks questions- out of timidity perhaps or the uneasiness that comes in confirming a hunch. And as I get closer, it becomes harder to ask. I contend to quietly look and be at peace with what I find.

Photographs, if we could agree, are meant to be looked at, seen. The picture we arrived at is not a memento to be kept in a breast pocket; the space it commands is much more expansive. And here it has been freely offered to us to be entered, be immersed and get lost in, explored.

Words by Gary-Ross Pastrana.

Frank Callaghan (b.1980) is a Manila-based artist known for his large-scale photographs of nighttime landscapes. He grew up in Baguio City and pursued a Degree in Economics at the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania before becoming a full-time photographer. His work has been exhibited in Manila, Singapore, the US, Hong Kong, and Singapore. He was shortlisted for the Ateneo Art Awards in 2010 for Anatomy of Autonomy and in 2011 for Shattering States.

Works

Frank Callaghan
Dead Ends 3130
2013
3306
2
chromogenic print mounted on aluminum dibond
40h x 60w in • 101.60h x 152.40w cm
0
0.00
PHP
0
Edition of 5
Details
Frank Callaghan
Dead Ends 5771
2013
3309
2
chromogenic print mounted on aluminum dibond
40h x 60w in • 101.60h x 152.40w cm
0
0.00
PHP
0
Edition of 5
Details
Frank Callaghan
Dead Ends 1205
2013
3312
2
chromogenic print mounted on aluminum dibond
40h x 60w in • 101.60h x 152.40w cm
0
0.00
PHP
0
Edition of 5
Details
Frank Callaghan
Dead Ends 3787
2013
3313
2
chromogenic print mounted on aluminum dibond
40h x 60w in • 101.60h x 152.40w cm
0
0.00
PHP
0
Edition of 5
Details
Frank Callaghan
Dead Ends 114
2013
3314
2
chromogenic print mounted on aluminum dibond
40h x 60w in • 101.60h x 152.40w cm
0
0.00
PHP
0
Edition of 5
Details
Frank Callaghan
Dead Ends 1279
2013
3315
2
chromogenic print mounted on aluminum dibond
40h x 60w in • 101.60h x 152.40w cm
0
0.00
PHP
0
Edition of 5
Details
Frank Callaghan
Dead Ends 200
2013
3316
2
chromogenic print mounted on aluminum dibond
40h x 60w in • 101.60h x 152.40w cm 3
0
0.00
PHP
0
Edition of 5
Details
Frank Callaghan
Dead Ends 9602
2013
3317
2
chromogenic print mounted on aluminum dibond
40h x 60w in • 101.60h x 152.40w cm
0
0.00
PHP
0
Edition of 5
Details
Frank Callaghan
Dead Ends 625
2013
3318
2
chromogenic print mounted on aluminum dibond
40h x 60w in • 101.60h x 152.40w cm
0
0.00
PHP
0
Edition of 5
Details
Frank Callaghan
Dead Ends 302
2013
3322
2
chromogenic print mounted on aluminum dibond
40h x 45w in • 101.60h x 114.30w cm
0
0.00
PHP
0
Edition of 5
Details
Frank Callaghan
Dead Ends 848
2013
3320
2
chromogenic print mounted on aluminum dibond
40h x 60w in • 101.60h x 152.40w cm
0
0.00
PHP
0
Edition of 5
Details
Frank Callaghan
Dead Ends 4160
2013
3324
2
chromogenic print mounted on aluminum dibond
40h x 60w in • 101.60h x 152.40w cm
0
0.00
PHP
0
Edition of 5
Details

Artist Page

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