Location: Espace Van Gogh
Hiroshi Sugimoto’s exhibition felt like I was traveling through another dimension, as he intended. The photographer described experiences in his childhood of often having out of body experiences. He would watch himself doing things, he would float above the earth and glide and he felt as though in his gaze he would float out into the air above everything. He went on to say how he once experienced the same thing in his adulthood and that it inspired him to do this exhibition. This story I believe was very effective in terms of how the spectator should interpret his work. Although there were only about 8 photographs in his exhibition, each made you feel as though you were floating abouve the earth and experiencing your very own out of body experience.
Each image was an exposure of a horizon at night with about one half sky and one half land/horizon. Instead of displaying these images horizontally as many would assume a horizon image should be, he placed each photo but 2 of them on either side of the room vertically so that the viewer is a bit disoriented at first glance. When I first took on one of his vertical horizons, I didn’t realize what I was looking at. The sky and land were so similar in color and were hard to differentiate. Once I realized I was looking at horizons, the rays of light in the sky became clearer and I noticed the moons, shooting starts and other astronomical figures. It was truly enchanting and made me feel as though I was gliding in the sky among the stars.
Sugimoto also consciously illuminated the mount behind the photos giving them this mystical, floating look about them. This enhanced the out of body idea that he was trying to convey. I thought that including this was a great decision and that it gave the photos an entirely new look. If the images would have simply been on the wall, they could have been lost in it. With the light, the horizon had dimension as well as a beginning and end. My favorite image was one of the two horizontal images in the front and back because it took me to that place that Sugimoto was referring to. With this photograph, I was truly able to connect with him as a spectator and as a photographer.