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<EM>Wire mesh</EM> by Frank Hofmann

Curator Athol McCredie talks about this boldly lit photograph


Wire mesh by Frank Hofmann
<P>This recording was created for Te Papa’s in-gallery audio tour.</P> <P>Transcript:</P> <P><STRONG>Athol McCredie</STRONG></P> <P>All photographs are, by definition, creations of light, but some, like this one, use light itself as subject matter.</P> <P>In this image, two sieves are captured by dramatic studio lighting. The effect is that shadows and patterns of light are made to have almost as much substance as real objects.</P> <P>In fact, object and shadow are a bit hard to visually separate in this image. Where exactly are the sieves in relation to one another? What shape are they? How much depth is there in the picture?</P> <P>In the end, the image functions on two levels. Yes, it’s an depiction of three-dimensional reality &#8211; it shows objects in the real world. That’s what we expect a photo to do.</P> <P>However, because of the way this image has been composed and lit, we can also enjoy it simply as a play of light and dark, of abstract shapes. It doesn’t need to be ‘of’ some sieves. That’s part of the effect that Frank Hofmann was after.<BR></P>

More media

Wire mesh

Frank Hofmann, Wire mesh, circa 1945, black and white photograph, gelatin silver print,
Purchased 2010 with the assistance of Andrew and Jenny Smith.
Full object info is available on collections.tepapa.govt.nz