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The Elements: Air/Water, Part 1: video by Joel Meyerowitz

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Published on Mar 28, 2008

The first installation of related video and photographic works by Joel Meyerowitz will premiere at Edwynn Houk Gallery from 21 February through 12 April.

The genesis of "The Elements: Air/Water, Part 1" was sparked in July 2007, when Joel Meyerowitz was directing a video of Olympic divers from an underwater viewing room at a Florida pool. The repetition of dives had one thing in common; with every entry into the pool, an enormous plume of bubbles encased the diver. As each diver swam away, the bubbles coalesced into a cloud that rose to the surface and returned to the atmosphere. This small observation, about one Element's transition into another, led him to think about the individual qualities of the four Elements and their physical relationships. Meyerowitz responded immediately by beginning a study of the Elements and making a commitment to observe what these essential facts of life would look like in video and photographs.

Although related to earlier projects, "The Elements: Air/Water, Part 1" represents a conceptual departure from Meyerowitz' groundbreaking work in color photography. Similarly to his previous work, the new video and photographs that make up "The Elements" continue to describe place, light and space. However, he feels that traditional pictorial means are not as relevant to a subject of this magnitude. In examining the phenomena of Air/Water/Earth/Fire, he says, "the challenge is to try to bring the power of the phenomena itself into the viewing experience." He attempts to do this by moving away from the horizon line and the illusion of deep space. These new works have a flatness that, in combination with their large scale, presents an image where the viewer can step into and more fully experience a sensation of 'being there,' in the Elements. The artist has already completed the filming of Fire/Earth and Earth/Water and plans to continue with the relationships of Air/Earth, Water/Fire and Fire/Air.

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