Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Some early Scott McFarland garden photographs, along with a text of mine from 2001.  Some of the foliage studies are extraordinarily complicated, and worth enlarging.  Is that a magnolia, third from the top?  Check!

"Though McFarland’s portrait studies are compelling, for me, the real strength of the series lies in its remarkable still photographs of garden plants. The gardens are not native gardens; the plants they contain arrived on the west coast at different points in time. The plants are rendered into simultaneous visibility by each moment of exposure, but each plant represents a different historical moment. In this way, the photographs present the illusion of a moment of seamless time, implying that each depicted form has always been continuous with the other, much as we perceive the night sky as a seamless, simultaneous image, when in fact it is composed of bits of light arriving at different moments, gathered up and arrested as a pattern. The gardens are like models of a hybrid culture composed of native species and [more] recent arrivals."

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