‘Teju Cole: Blind Spot and Black Paper’
The photographs in Teju Cole’s solo show at Steven Kasher Gallery, Julian Lucas writes in the NYR Daily, “are filled with cars, hotel rooms, ladders, boats, bus stops, tire tracks, mountain trails, and street signs—a tacit geography of human transit. A wall in the middle of the gallery collects five pictures of pedestrians turned away from the camera. (Revisiting the World Trade Center site for the first time since 2001, Cole trails a uniformed sailor: “One turns away to show what cannot otherwise be shown.”) The wall’s opposite side showcases “Black Paper,” a smaller exhibition of Cole’s photographs capturing the global mood after the 2016 election. Throughout the gallery, the arrangement of materials invites reading before viewing. Although one’s first impression is of a visual composite, the captions, set in columns at the right of each frame, precede the images in the exhibition’s counterclockwise circuit. (The book also puts captions first, on verso pages.) Words create atmospheres of expectation in which photographs become visual koans, less concerned with what can be seen than with heightening our awareness of what cannot.”
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