AO On-Site: New York City – DIS Image Studio at Suzanne Geiss Company Through February 24th, 2013

February 20th, 2013

DIS Image Studio at Suzanne Geiss Company (Installation View), via Daniel Creahan for ArtObserved
DIS Image Studio at Suzanne Geiss Company (Installation View), via Daniel Creahan for ArtObserved

The stock photo library has a long and complex history in the world of photography.  Pioneered as a money-saving convenience for commercial advertisements and small publications, the stock photograph has had countless ups and downs as both financial godsend and ironic fetish object as its demand in the world of commercial photography fluctuates.  Examining this intriguing commercial industry and its artistic implications, DIS Magazine is currently hosting the DIS Image Studio at Suzanne Geiss Company in New York.

Shawn Maximo, Neighboring Interests 168 (2013), via DIS Images
Shawn Maximo, Neighboring Interests 168 (2013), via DIS Images

Creating a fully functioning stock image photography studio at the gallery, DIS has recruited a number of photographers and new media artists to reinterpret the stock image photo, creating hundreds of images for their new stock image library, DISImages.  Visitors are welcome to explore the gallery, observing the daily shoots as they occur, and witnessing stock images created in real time.

DIS Image Studio at Suzanne Geiss Company (Installation View), via Daniel Creahan for ArtObserved
DIS Image Studio at Suzanne Geiss Company (Installation View), via Daniel Creahan for ArtObserved

Fittingly enough, presence on-site is notably anticlimactic.  While the space is transformed to allow engagement with the studio as image factory, the viewer cannot help but feel a sense of disconnectedness and alienation.  Familiar scenes and environments lay in pieces, stacked against the walls: little is offered to provide context or emotional mooring with the work. Like the commercially ambivalent photos produced, the atmosphere is surprisingly bare.

Ian Cheng, 3D Models 600 (2013), via DIS Images
Ian Cheng, 3D Models 600 (2013), via DIS Images

While the project is ongoing, the images uploaded to the site so far illustrate the depth of talent involved in the show.  Contributors to the show include Ian Cheng, Ryan Trecartin, The Jogging, and many more during the exhibition’s ongoing run.  Mixing surreal rendered images with office equipment, kitchen scenes and bubble-wrapped models, the artists’ contributions add to a new imagining of the stock photo, artistically rendered with an equal mind to commercial use and artistic expression.  The commercial is juxtaposed with the purely fantastic, but overt readings of the work is obscured by the intent as commercial images.  These are, after all, images intended for nonspecific use in an open market, despite their bizarrely specific subject matter

DIS Image Studio at Suzanne Geiss Company (Installation View), via Daniel Creahan for ArtObserved
DIS Image Studio at Suzanne Geiss Company (Installation View), via Daniel Creahan for ArtObserved

The DIS Image studio mechanizes the process of art photography, and highlights the continually blurred nature of stock photography between arts and commerce.  Equal parts winking homage and bizarre subversion, the show offers a fascinating look into the nature of the stock photo, seeking to understand its role while actively creating a vision of what stock photography can be in the future.

Harry Griffin, Durability, Protection, Comfort, 245 (2013), via DIS Images

Harry Griffin, Durability, Protection, Comfort, 245 (2013), via DIS Images

DIS Image Studio at Suzanne Geiss Company (Installation View), via Daniel Creahan for ArtObserved
DIS Image Studio at Suzanne Geiss Company (Installation View), via Daniel Creahan for ArtObserved

Frank Benson, iChiaroscuro 137 (2013), via DIS Images
Frank Benson, iChiaroscuro 137 (2013), via DIS Images

Suggested Links
DIS – The Stock Issue
DISImages.Com