Call for Entries - AAP Magazine #8 / Street

Bill Finger: Transit of Venus

Bill Finger: Transit of Venus
Bill Finger: Transit of Venus
I first saw Bill Finger's work at PhotoLucida in 2011. He had these great dioramas that looked so realistic. This wasn't like Lori Nix or David Levinthal or Stephen Albair, this was something almost absurd, yet completely believable. When I saw an astronaut at his front door being greeted by another fully outfitted astronaut from his series, "Ground Control," I honestly wondered if the man had just returned from a landing. Was Bill part of the space program and didn't share this information? Were astronauts gathering at his house on a regular basis? When I saw another image of an astronaut climbing down the stairs from the attic, I really believed that this suited space explorer had been rummaging around in Bill's loft space; I can even see the weight of the man on the ladder, the rung bending under his foot. Surreal, but so real looking that I thought it had happened and Bill had documented it. But then he and I got to talking and Bill revealed that no, he had actually built those scenes. Built them! I also learned that he had worked on a film with my ex-fiancé decades ago which made me realize that his background in filmmaking, which is also illusion, must be playing some part in these tableaux images. I taped one of his photographs to my wall at the gallery and years passed and it still never read as a fake. Ever.

In 2017, I had the delight of seeing Bill Finger in the lobby of the Benson Hotel in Portland, there for another PhotoLucida portfolio review. I sidled up and asked to see his latest project. And here, in a year of surprises, was a great one. Bill unveiled his series, "Transit of Venus." A sequence of tableaux images, but I, once again, couldn't understand how they weren't real. There was a tiny ship sailing across a gently breaking sea. A sea! (How do you build a sea?) I thought of Darwin's Beagle out there, heading for the Galapagos and the unknown. This was a voyage of exploration. I saw the sun setting over a tiny house with the window lights coming on at dusk. I saw this same sun get eclipsed, by what couldn't be Venus, but the moon, months before the actually solar eclipse in North America happened. I saw the forest fill with morning mist and then I saw it evaporate and felt the oncoming night. Time is passing in these pictures. And there's a satellite too, traveling through space, recording information, transmitting it.

Bill Finger

© Bill Finger

Bill Finger

© Bill Finger

Bill Finger

© Bill Finger

What strikes me about these images besides their perfection, is how he chose to print them. These small B&W photographs are printed as circles. As if I'm looking through a telescope at the vanishing sun, at the distant satellite, at the ship disappearing on the horizon. It's like looking at the past and the future at the same time. Really like a dream. The first image in his sequence as I viewed it was from the deck of a ship. It's unclear whether it's the same ship we see later sailing away from us or whether it's a different vessel. What is clear is that dawn is coming and with that a change.

Bill Finger

© Bill Finger

Bill Finger

© Bill Finger

Bill Finger

© Bill Finger

I asked Bill for a statement about this work, which for me brings up many emotions, and this is what he had to say:

"Using the Voyager Space Probes as a metaphor, Transit of Venus is an exploration of the human desire to search beyond one's self. While embracing the quiet solitude of the search, perception of time slows. Days fold into moments, while moments transform and mix with longings. Once beyond the obvious realm, the exploration becomes an act of looking inward while embracing that which is beyond. To explore, is to drift through time."

Wonderfully expressed and beautifully executed. I'm looking forward to seeing what shores these tiny boats land on and also awaiting the change that will come with the dawn.

Biography

Bill Finger is a Seattle based artist whose work combines sculpture and photography. Handcrafting each element, he constructs and then photographs miniature dioramas. Each image is imbued with a sense of cinematic narrative that reflects twenty years working around film sets. By mimicking the filmmaking process he is able to create a miniature construction of a constructed reality.

Bill has exhibited his photographs in Europe, the US and Canada. His work is included in the permanent collections of the George Eastman Museum of Photography and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. He holds a MFA in Photography from the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Bill Finger

© Bill Finger

Bill Finger

© Bill Finger

Bill Finger

© Bill Finger

Bill Finger

© Bill Finger

Bill Finger

© Bill Finger

Bill Finger

© Bill Finger

Bill Finger

© Bill Finger

Bill Finger

© Bill Finger

Bill Finger

© Bill Finger

Bill Finger

© Bill Finger

Bill Finger

© Bill Finger


  Bill Finger
Stunning Photo Websites on SmugMug
Sponsored Link
 

More Photography News

News
Leica Women Foto Project 2019 Award Recipients
Leica Women Foto Project 2019 Award Recipients
Following the launch of the Leica Women Foto Project earlier this year - a platform dedicated to the expansion of diversity and inclusion in...
  Read More
Events
Exhibition: Rankin from Portraiture to Fashion
Exhibition: Rankin from Portraiture to Fashion
In the first its kind, Rankin's first solo exhibition in Milan since his 2016 Fashion Week project Outside In, Rankin: From Portraiture to Fashion...
  Read More
News
Production Paradise announces the winners of the Spotlight Awards 2019
Production Paradise announces the winners of the Spotlight Awards 2019
Production Paradise Spotlight Awards 2019 has released the shortlists of competitors in 13 categories in anticipation of the winners being announced....
  Read More
News
Back to Rome of 1969, John R. Pepper
Back to Rome of 1969, John R. Pepper
After recent exhibitions featuring emerging photographers, RAW Streetphoto Gallery is opening its new season on September 13th with a solo exhibition...
  Read More
News
Shane Balkowitsch makes portraits of Swedish environmental activist and 2019 Nobel Peace Prize nominee Greta Thunberg
Shane Balkowitsch makes portraits of Swedish environmental activist and 2019 Nobel Peace Prize nominee Greta Thunberg
On Tuesday, October 8, North Dakotan wet plate collodion artist Shane Balkowitsch had the chance to make several portraits of Swedish environmental...
  Read More
News
Getty Museum Acquires Photographs by Laura Aguilar
Getty Museum Acquires Photographs by Laura Aguilar
The Los Angeles photographer Laura Aguilar, who died last year at the age of 59, created work that explored her own identity, challenged traditional...
  Read More
News
Book: Once Upon a Time in Shanghai by Mark Parascandola
Book: Once Upon a Time in Shanghai by Mark Parascandola
Mark Parascandola, a documentary fine-art photographer based in Washington, D.C., is interested in how photography and the movies shape our...
  Read More
News
Documentary Photography Reconsidered: History, Theory, Practice by Michelle Bogre
Documentary Photography Reconsidered: History, Theory, Practice by Michelle Bogre
Documentary photography is undergoing an unprecedented transformation as it adapts to the impact of digital technology, social media and new means of...
  Read More
News
Book: Flight of Spirit, The Photographs of Anne Noggle
Book: Flight of Spirit, The Photographs of Anne Noggle
In the history of photography, Anne Noggle (1922-2005) stands alone among the great American photographers for her powerful, wry portraits and...
  Read More
News
Results of
Results of 'The Poetry of Shadows' curated by Sandrine Hermand-Grisel
Being asked to jury "The Poetry of Shadows" was a difficult but fascinating experience. Thank you for allowing me to discover so many incredible...
  Read More
News
Joe Vitone: Family Records
Joe Vitone: Family Records
Do not miss the beautiful exhibition "Joe Vitone: Family Records" at the Akron Art Museum until October 27, 2019. Family Records is an ongoing series...
  Read More
News
26th Bayeux Calvados-Normandy award for war correspondents
26th Bayeux Calvados-Normandy award for war correspondents
From 7 to 13 October Bayeux will be hosting the 26th Bayeux Calvados-Normandy award for war correspondents. The town, the Department of Calvados, the...
  Read More
Stunning Photo Websites on SmugMug
Sponsored Link
Join our newsletter
Be up-to-date with call for entries, deadlines and other news about exhibitions, galleries, publications, & special events
 
AAP Magazine#8 Street Photography Contest
 
Discover the 7th Issue of AAP Magazine
All About Photo Magazine showcases the winners of AAP Magazine Competitions
 
 
 
David Bailey: SUMO
Sponsored Link
 
TAKES U TO THE NEXT LEVEL
 
Since 2005, your guide through contemporary art from a French perspective to let you make exciting choices