The Distance Between is a solo exhibition of large-format work by Portland-based artist Akihiko Miyoshi, from his project entitled Abstract Photographs (2011).
Miyoshi’s photographs are playfully self-reflexive, simultaneously abstract yet photographically real. The 14 images chosen for this exhibition are all “self-portraits” consisting of the photographer and his camera taken through a mirror. Instead of exposing the subject in a conventional sense, these images allude to formal abstraction through the use of coloured paper and tape, and selective focus and blurring, in order to question the space between subject and apparatus. The supposedly referent-less nature of abstraction is contradicted by the presence of minute details captured by the use of a large-format camera, such as the dust, scratch marks, smears, or fingerprints on the surface of the mirror, or the texture of the tape and paper.
Deliberately referencing the constructed aesthetic of digital image-making—the pixel, the choice of red, green, or blue tape, and the surface/depth tension of altered focus—Miyoshi’s analogue self-portraits use metaphor to evoke a slew of contemporary questions about the status of the photographer/author and the referent/real in the digital age.