30th April until 9th July – Stills Gallery, Edinburgh
Currently at Stills Gallery is a collection of photographs by Lewis Baltz, alongside works by Charlotte Posenenske and Carl Andre. The exhibition gives the viewer the opportunity to view photographic work (in a photographic gallery) alongside other disciplinaries. Sculptural pieces by Posenenske and Andre also occupy the gallery space, adding another dimension to what would otherwise be a wall-centred exhibition.
The Baltz collection brings together Park City (1979), Candlestick Point (1989) and 10 silver gelatin prints from The Prototype Works (1967-76), a selection of his earlier work. The repetitive arrangement of silver gelatin and chromogenic prints in Candlestick Point is a topographic series made in the Bay Area of San Francisco. Drawing from Andre’s printed poetry nearby, Baltz’s photographs also take on a lyrical form, punctuated by segmented breaks in the display of the framed photographs.
Andre’s work continues onto the floor of the adjoining room in Aluminium Sum Ten (2003) in the form of 55 units of aluminium arranged as tiles. Visitors are offered the opportunity to walk onto the sculpture, allowing them to have a physical connection to Andre’s work while simultaneously viewing Baltz’s prints. The sculptural element continues with Posenenske’s Vierkantrohre Serie D (1967-2014), an interchangeable galvanised steel piece that can be reconstructed into different forms to reflect its current location, altering the space it occupies.
Bathed in Californian and Western sunlight, Baltz’s topographic photographs reveal details of places he has explored over his long photographic career. He has witnessed and recorded an ever-changing American landscape of neglected wasteland and derelict buildings, an account of our ability as human beings to explore, construct, and move on (not unlike Posenenske’s continually reconstructed piece), seemingly unaware of the environment we leave behind.