New York Photo Review
Volume 2 Issue 37 October 25 to 31, 2011

Making Caribbean Dance by Susanna Sloat
The Genetic Wars by Barbara Confino
Soho Photo Gallery
Central Booking Magazine

Objects in Space
Neil Winoker
Hardware
Ed Barnas
 by Neil Winoker. Source: janetbordeninc.com
Neil Winoker

In an information age when “hardware” often refers to a computer that will be replaced by a newer model in a couple of years, it is good to remember that the term once referred to much more durable goods. These longer lasting objects are the subject of Neil Winokur’s current show at Janet Borden. As with his visual alphabet exhibited in 2007, each is taken out if its environment and presented against a solid color background, sharply defined, then lit by a surrounding light that casts a faint shadow before the object.

The pieces are identified only as “Object” and a number, inviting the viewer to consider the pieces solely for their formal properties, divorced from their function and any sense of their actual size. And, indeed, there are some interesting shapes on display, ranging from the old (a vintage wooden ruler) to the new (a fanned-out hex-key set). Some are complete in themselves, while others are part of some other whole. A few show a degree of depth through positioning, but most appear two-dimensional, photographed straight on.

 by Neil Winoker. Source: janetbordeninc.com
Neil Winoker

I am not sure how to respond to these images. If I had no hands-on experience of this old-style hardware, I would appreciate their formal abstraction, much as I appreciate the clean lines of “industrial design” furniture I see in catalogs. And some pieces echo the clean lines of certain types of primitive art (Objects 24 and 36). However, I am the son of a blacksmith/machinist and have gotten my hands dirty with home and car repairs, so I find it hard to divorce them from their function. But when I see these photographs I notice their styling subjugates that function to visual design. Yet the physicality in these images calls up the sense memory in my hands. Such is the mental baggage that a reviewer brings to an exhibit.

Neil Winoker
Hardware


Janet Borden
560 Broadway 6th Fl
Lower Manhattan - West         Map

212 431 0166
janetbordeninc.com

Wednesday, September 14 to
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Hours: Tues - Sat, 10 to 6
Share

The Genetic Wars by Barbara Confino
Making Caribbean Dance by Susanna Sloat
Central Booking Magazine
Soho Photo Gallery