Adam Fuss: My Ghost

My Ghost, an exhibition of work made by Adam Fuss over the last three years, will be on view at Fraenkel Gallery, 49 Geary Street, San Francisco, from January 4 through March 3, 2001. The exhibition will be comprised of recent daguerreotypes and unique photograms made of little more than smoke and light.

As it has from the beginning, this new work by Fuss deals with issues of life and death, birth, love and its loss. One gets the sense from Fuss’s work that he does not try to direct or manipulate these subjects which are, by their nature, ambiguous. Rather, he resolves himself to the their inherent mystery. This is largely accomplished through Fuss’s photographic method which hinges on chance occurrence. In the case of his photograms, which will be on view, the enigma of smoke is stilled and recorded directly on paper by a flash of light. These photographs each convey their subject in a different way; some with articulate edges and defined shapes, others with a hazy, translucent airiness.

Fuss also recovers the 19th century daguerreotype process in his work. Using this form, which was largely used historically for portraiture, he portrays disparate subject matter, focusing on five main topics: the body of a swan with wings extended, images of the poems of Tarkovsky (whose work has been of great import to Fuss), baptism dresses, butterflies, and self-portraits. Fuss’s daguerreotype work is illustrated in a recent monograph by the same name, My Ghost.