Lisa Vollmer Photography Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Arrival. The exhibition features new works by Sabine Vollmer von Falken from a series entitled Passport, vintage prints from the Moving Point of View by Tom Zetterstrom and photographs from the Arrival series by Lisa Vollmer.
…In the early 1970’s Tom Zetterstrom began the Moving Point of View series, an innovative approach to seeing the fleeting landscape from the perspective of moving vehicles-cars, trains, buses. For two decades he fused the mechanics of the camera to the velocity of the vehicle to sift out imagery that challenged the standard precepts of photography. If we imagine that Duchamp had fashioned the machine that could invent such pictures, then Zetterstrom's art is that machines emotional spill.
Airports were a place of great joy for me. When I was studying at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, I would take the train to the airport on weekends in anticipation of who I could meet and photograph. My goal was to create a series of portraits that would explore stereotypes of nationality. It was exciting to greet travelers as they arrived. I asked them if they would like to be photographed - they received a Polaroid print and I retained the negative.
Forty portraits from the “Arrival” series are on view here in the gallery. They are hand-printed silver gelatin images that I rediscovered and had the great pleasure of printing myself. It's hard to believe it's been 20 years!
Now, these portraits capture, in a wholly innocent way, the fears and fascinations of people moving between cultures. I believe these images, taken 20 years ago, attest to all the ways that international contact can make people both wiser and more questioning of their own place in the world. These emotions are popping up on both sides of the immigration debate today, and I hope to offer at least a window into those feelings.
(Lisa Vollmer, 2017)
Our old family passports, collected and stacked away for no reason, tell me today how my life was shaped by crossing borders. Passports give us permission to travel and transit but only through selected countries. A passport does not of itself create any rights in the country being visited or transited through.
These passport photos seen here recall many eye-to-eye conversations under circumstances barely remembered; one perhaps being sorrow, for having to travel to a family emergency, or one perhaps being humility, while passing into an unknown culture? The loud noise of a stamp to follow an Arrival, by a rarely friendly officer, is imprinted forever in my memory and my journey through life, so far.