Please join us for an exhibition walkthrough with the artist.
Continuing a decade-long practice that builds social documentary into the creation of sweeping, majestic Western vistas, Sherry’s new, large-scale photographs invite a complex discussion of territorialism and land use, ownership, and preservation. In this exhibition, queer ecology and the history of photography fuse together into a monumental experience, both visually tranquil and emotionally dramatic.
The revivification and radicalization of the colonial history of American landscape photography—which, ironically, is gorgeous and irresistibly romantic—is David Benjamin Sherry’s objective in Monuments, presenting eight photographs that feature scenes from National Monuments. By celebrating and honoring the environmental ethic, kinship with wilderness, and formal mastery of pre-digital, film-based, darkroom photography popularized by Edward Weston, Minor White, Ansel Adams, and Robert Adams, Sherry keeps this heroic tradition alive by communing with far-flung forests and deserts to locate compositions that he transforms into sublime images. But his relationship to these forefathers stops there; his practice conceptually centers itself in education and rejection of perpetuating the corrupt political history of the American West, whose legends of freedom are fabricated from stolen lands which have been consistently abused and destroyed.