For the 2021 Louisville Photo Biennial Galerie Hertz will present selections from two projects by the photographer Joe Wolek. Both projects focus on the notion of landscape via cultural interpretation.
On the Beaten Track documents absurd elements in the western deserts of the US produced while on location scouting assignments for Harley Davidson motorcycle ads. Wide panoramas mimicking Cinemascope format, printed large and presented more like paintings, these images move away from documentary and more into meditative minimalism while maintaining subtle cultural critique.
Loose Wanderings in a Rigid Terrain shows interior spaces with landscape imagery featured as decoration. Shot while on assignment to document the changing aspects of the grasslands in mainland China in 1999, these images demonstrate how the ancient Asian custom of serene landscape art display has been usurped in contemporary China. Produced just as the nation was opening up to the broader world, these images peer into the Chinese cultural psyche interpretation of the “western world” as well as illustrate how commercially produced imagery overtakes authentic art in mass culture.
In conjunction with this exhibition, there will also be a show of ceramic sculptures by Lena Wolek titled, Breaking Sweet Tooth.
Dates: September 26 – November 6, 2021
Events: Opening Reception: September 26, 1 – 4 pm