RAYKO PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION
Features the work of the 2012 RayKo Artists-in-Residence
Ten Thousand Scrolls, Kirk Crippens
Contact, Maggie Preston
The After Life of Things, David Wolf
Opening Reception: Friday, November 16th, 6-8pm
Exhibition dates: November 16th – December 14th
The 2012 RayKo artists-in-residence are a diverse trio of traditional darkroom users doing very unconventional things. Come check out their joint exhibition in November and fall in love with the smell of fixer all over again!
Kirk Crippens traveled to the comparatively small city of Lishui, China, and found himself learning something he never could have grasped from his home in the East Bay. A narrow understanding of a foreign land is inevitable when knowledge simply comes from books, television, the internet and news reports. Kirk replaced that shallow information with face-to-face encounters and helped transform and broaden his understanding in ways otherwise impossible. With two 35mm cameras strapped around his neck and several dozen rolls of b&w film, Kirk went to the countryside of China with only this much Mandarin in his vocabulary: “Ni hao.” He managed to meet hundreds of people who allowed him to photograph them and who took him into their homes and into their confidence. Kirk and his understanding of China and its people will never be the same. There is an ancient Chinese saying with a simple concept that speaks to the heart of his project, "Traveling ten thousand miles is better than reading ten thousand scrolls."
Maggie Preston's practice represents an exploration of the basic concepts of the photographic medium with her return to the photogram! In her project, Contact, the technical strategies and critical approaches employed by Preston at once explore the process and materiality of photographic objects, as well as their presentation and interpretation. She has been combining digital and hand-made negatives with silver gelatin prints and traditional darkroom techniques to document and present a world that is unrecognizable and as mysterious as the materials themselves. She states: “Because of my conceptual interests, I feel it’s essential that I learn how to merge analog and digital practices, and that a distinct hybrid approach would yield artworks that can act as metaphors for the current state of flux. On a personal note, I’m seeking a visual articulation of the restlessness that I feel as a result of having grown up straddling the divide between analog and digital.”
David Wolf has a love affair with the color darkroom. The After Life of Things explores the materiality of things and our relationship to them, while celebrating the wonder of the traditional darkroom in an age of its decline. Drawing a parallel between discarded objects and discontinued photo papers, images of unwanted objects are printed on a variety of papers collected from closed photo stores and the basements and closets of onetime darkroom users. The resulting prints bear witness to the mercurial effects of time and happenstance, with each print distinguished by the shifting colors and random marks of age. (Bring in your unwanted photo paper at any time to add to David’s project!)
RayKo Photo Center & Gallery is a comprehensive photographic facility, located near the Yerba Buena Arts District, with resources for anyone with a passion for photography. Established in the early 1990’s, RayKo Photo Center has grown to become one of San Francisco’s most beloved photography darkroom spaces; it includes traditional b&w and color labs as well as a state-of-the-art digital department, a professional rental studio, galleries, and the Photographer’s Marketplace – a retail space promoting the work of regional artists. RayKo also has San Francisco’s 1st Art*O*Mat vending machine and a vintage 1947 black & white Auto-Photo Booth.
RayKo Gallery serves to advance public appreciate of photography and create opportunities for regional and national artists to create and present their work. RayKo Gallery offers 1600 square feet of exhibition space and the Photographer’s Marketplace, which supports the work of Bay Area artists, and encourages the collection of artwork by making it accessible to collectors of all levels. The Photographer’s Marketplace offers photography collectors unique and affordable work from artists living and working in the surrounding area.
RayKo Photo Center & Gallery
428 Third Street
San Francisco, CA 94107
Tuesday-Thursday: 10-10 pm
Friday-Sunday: 10-8 pm
*RayKo is located in the SOMA arts district of San Francisco within walking distance of SFMOMA, the Moscone Center, Yerba Buena Gardens, as well as AT&T Ballpark.