About the Book
This work stems from the artist’s fascination with the nature of our relationships to the landscape, the sublime, time, and impermanence. Both series consist of cyanotypes made directly in the landscape, where elements like precipitation, waves, wind, and sediment physically etch into the photo chemistry; the prints simultaneously expose in sunlight and wash in the water around them. Littoral Drift, a geologic term describing the action of wind-driven waves transporting sand and gravel, consists of camera-less cyanotypes made in collaboration with the landscape and the ocean, at the edge of both. The elements employed in the process—waves, rain, wind, and sediment—leave physical inscriptions through direct contact with photographic materials. Ecotone also engages dynamic photographic materials in the landscape, but collaborates with precipitation rather than ocean waves or running water in the landscape. Rain, snow, ice, fog, etc. chemically activate the photographic materials, while they expose via the residual sunlight that exists even in the heaviest storm. Riepenhoff drapes the photochemically treated paper on objects in the landscape, from windfall branches and boulders to garbage cans and fences. The pieces record the movement of water through the planetary surface, tracing topographies in both wild and built environments. Photochemically, the pieces are never wholly processed; they continue to change over time in response to environments that they encounter, blurring the line between creation and destruction. The artist selectively re-photographs moments in the evolution of the images to generate a series of static records of a transitory process. Entitled Continua, the progressive images are shown as polyptychs. Where the fugitive cyanotypes are analogies for a terrifyingly fleeting and beautiful existence, the process of re-photographing is a metaphor for the incorporation and mediation of photography in contemporary human experience.
About the Artist
Meghann Riepenhoff received a BFA in Photography from the University of Georgia and an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. Her artwork has been exhibited nationally and internationally at the High Museum of Art, Denver Art Museum, Worcester Art Museum, University of Missouri, Houston Center for Photography, and the Aperture Foundation. She has received numerous awards and artist residencies, including at the Rayko Photo Center in San Francisco, and Banff Centre for the Arts in Banff, Canada.
About the Authors
Charlotte Cotton is an independent curator who has held positions including Head of the Wallis Annenberg Photography Department, LACMA; Head of Programming at The Photographers’ Gallery, London; Creative Director at the National Media Museum, UK; Curator of Photography at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Curator in Residence at the Katonah Museum of Art, NY; Curator in Residence for International Center of Photography’s museum and events space, 250 Bowery; and Curator in Residence at Metabolic Studio, LA.
Joshua Chuang is the Miriam & Ira D. Wallach Associate Director for Art, Prints & Photographs and the Robert B. Menschel Senior Curator of Photography at The New York Public Library. Previously he served as chief curator at the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, Arizona, and the Richard Benson Associate Curator of Photography and Digital Media at the Yale University Art Gallery. Among the many books he has produced and edited are monographs by Robert Adams, Lee Friedlander, Judith Joy Ross, Mark Ruwedel, Santu Mofokeng, and the forthcoming, definitive survey of the work of the Victorian photographer Anna Atkins.