Invented Worlds: Photographs by Ruth Thorne-Thomsen

February 20, 2013—July 28, 2013

Location: Bloch Building, Gallery L11

Ruth Thorne-Thomsen uses the simplest techniques in order to rethink the expressive potential of photography. She is best known for her use of the pinhole camera, beginning in 1976 but has also employed the standard 35mm format.

The pinhole camera can be made from the most basic materials: cardboard, tape, and foil. A small hole made by a pin in a material such as aluminum foil casts a clear but less-than-sharp image which can be recorded on a sheet of photographic film or paper. Everything depicted in the pinhole image—whether small and close or large and distant—is rendered with the same quality of definition, disguising what may be vast differences of distance or size

Throughout her career, Thorne-Thomsen has used the photographic process as a means of invention. She is interested in universal symbols and archetypes, myth, magic, and dreams. The world represented so memorably in her photographs is a place we all know: the landscape of the imagination.


Image: Ruth Thorne-Thomsen, American (b. 1943). Head with Ladders, from the series Expeditions, 1979. Gelatin silver print. Gift of the artist, 2012.38.31

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