Crushed/Optimistic:  Photography, Poetry, & Brandon Forrest Frederick
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Crushed/Optimistic: Photography, Poetry, & Brandon Forrest Frederick

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Crushed/Optimistic: Photography, Poetry, & Brandon Forrest Frederick
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Brandon Forrest Frederick is an artist / organizer / educator / person that I happen to know very well. We have worked side by side for four years as members of Archive Collective, and both pursued our photographic educations in the same institution (four years apart). This shared experience means that neither of us can navigate Brandon’s work without first considering its relationship to the functions, the implicit qualities, and often, the inadequacies of photographs. Seeing these things as a driving force, rather than a limitation, enables Brandon to meet the viewer between playfulness and subversion in an exhibition like Sensible Disobedience.

The following writing was made in response to Brandon’s practice and efforts to explore new modes for working through his ideas, as well as my own desire to bring this level of intuition and experimentation to art writing.

brandon_f_1

Image of Brandon Forrest Frederick’s work courtesy of the artist.

 

Photographs like

 

an aphorism

a truth

of everyday objects

that we all know

 

aim to

seem

legible

transparent

but not without

 

a certain poetry

in reflection

that comes from empathy

 

not declarative

or assertive

but a clear question

 

of ‘the everyday’

that feels elevating.

 

Faith placed

in observation

to share

to take with you

and consider

in daily interaction

 

a ‘something out of nothing’

like that cliché

of vernacular photographs.

 

Beauty in and of the everyday.

 

Transforming like

through the lens

patterns

conditioned

decisions made

for photography

 

between us

the photograph

and the outside world.

 

Process like

an overly complicated means to an end

calling attention to what confounds

(see Rube Goldberg)

presented clearly

generously

 

posits

that perhaps art can be simple

but our ideas

and truths

are more often

somewhere in the mess.

 

Humor like

Science Fiction

a good way to talk about tough things

and tough times

with the ability

to stay light.

 

A rigid object

crushed

a signifier of culture

shared alien

collapsed space

stuffed soft

crumpled again

our combined laughters

are first ones of

Michelob Ultra

of consumption

and second of

extravagant photographic failures

and wit.

 

A flaccid pillow

a more obvious joke

not dumb

just

generous

evolving from

photographs

avoids only partially

some underlying sadness

of the still image.

 

New work

sewn

cut

lit from within

with the same punchline

louder

 

a new gift

an archeological dig

through American habits

 

not the American spaces

we learned about

in Photo History.

 

Teaching and making

as learning

 

a new education

and new ideas

or shared ideas

and new vehicles.

 

Growth

guided by the process

 

not by what we already know.


SENSIBLE DISOBEDIENCE: DISRUPTING CULTURAL SIGNIFIERS IN A NEOLIBERAL AGE was curated by Lynnette Miranda -Charlotte Street’s Curator-in-Residence- and is up through April 22nd 2017 at La Esquina (1000 W. 25TH STREET KC, MO 64108)

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