Thursday, August 30, 2012

Camden Hardy and the Ansel Adams Archive

I never thought I cared about Ansel Adams until I saw Camden Hardy's photographs of his objects from the archives of the Center for Creative Photography while I was in Arizona earlier this month. Sitting next to a fountain while attempting not to let children splashing water drench an iPad, I viewed nearly 100 images ranging from Ansel's cameras, the famous Hills Bros. coffee can, typewriters, a telegram, one foot candles used for exposure, and a box to hold large format film. I discovered Ansel liked to label things and neatly typed descriptions of the objects, placing them on the outside of containers. Looking at Camden's photographs of his possessions made me consider the person (hence the personality) behind the man who takes photographs I officially have no interest in viewing (let's just say anyone that ever worked at the Center for Creative Photography has an alternate view of Ansel Adams' oeuvre). Camden's photographs made me care and I was startled by that fact.

A few days later, I returned to school starting and the general chaos of not having enough time for art when I received this in the mail.

Note: the cats on the card will be used in my version of Arline Conradt's cat scrapbook.

Surprisingly, Camden sent me a photograph of one of my favorite items in series: the holder for Ansel's word processing glasses.  Details I love about this image: Ansel labeled it A.A. (as if he would confuse them with another person who owned eyeglasses used solely for word processing), the dark background (forcing a close examination of the details), and the glasses are out of sight (we can only imagine their presence therefore the holder becomes more monumental).

(Image by Camden Hardy)

Camden and I have many similarities in how we view possessions and the stories they tell. I'm looking forward to a future collaboration based around this concept!

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