Gelatin Silver: Traditional Prints from william and Mary Photography Students
Curated by John Lee Matney with the assistance of Professor Eliot Dudik Assistant: Ashley Ridgway
November 12, 2016- January 1, 2017
Under the tutelage of William and Mary Photography Professor, Elliot Dudik, twelve students have submitted an impressive range of black and white photographs for this exhibition. The title “Gelatin Silver” draws attention to the pure medium of photography, which depends on silver salts to produce a light-sensitive picture. Traditional printing takes place in the darkroom, an environment demanding care, skill, and craft in the chemical development and fixing of pictures. Each print is clean with beautiful tonality, demonstrating the discipline in the darkroom and the talent of these exhibitors. The exhibition presents the art of photography through its capacities to be mimetic, and pushes the aesthetic forms of time and space. Dudik’s photographers experiment with these formal elements by using shutter speed effects, breaking up portraits’ picture planes, and addressing the temporality of subject matter. One subject, a plate of melting ice cubes, captures the momentary presence of matter as it changes into a liquid. The photographers show that the medium of gelatin silver and traditional photography forms are anything but dead because they continue to stimulate the imagination with great success in the twenty-first century.