Gelatin silver print, toned
Image: 11.5 x 8.6 cm (4 1/2 x 3 3/8 in.); Paper: 19.8 x 16.9 cm (7 13/16 x 6 5/8 in.); Matted: 35.6 x 30.6 cm (14 x 12 1/16 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 1993.157
Since the mid-1970s, Ruth Thorne-Thomsen has created a highly inventive body of work by challenging and exploiting photography's implied truthfulness (that is, the camera never lies). For this provocative image, she assembled a number of miniature props to construct a mysterious, surreal seascape enriched by warm, atmospheric light. Photographed close-up, Rock Tower was made with a pinhole camera. Using a paper negative, the pinhole camera provides an infinite depth of field. It is thus impossible to discern the scale of the objects depicted in the print. Reality has been transformed into illusion.
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