DON FREEMAN THE POETICS OF SPACE
CARTER LANE GALLERY 8 DECEMBER 2016- 14 JANUARY 2017
49 CARTER LANE, LONDON EC4V 5 AE ,020 7074 11 73 CARTERLANEGALLERY.COM
Carter Lane Gallery welcomes “The Poetics of Space” an exhibition showcasing the work of American photographer and filmmaker Don Freeman. Though it is Freeman’s inaugural presentation in London, the significant time he’s spent shooting for publications such as The World of Interiors, Elle Décor, and Architectural Digest have made him intimately familiar with the city. Alongside his enduring editorial career, Freeman has published five books of photography, which have explored interiors (Artists’ Handmade Houses, The Hotel Book: Great Escapes North America), the objet d’art (Ted Muehling: A Portrait), taking flowers back to their Dutch Renaissance beginnings (Styling Nature), and early works (My Familiar Dream, currently residing in the permanent collections of the Victoria & Albert Museum).
Freeman recently finished Art House, an award-winning feature length documentary that entered the intimate domiciles of artists, revealing the spiritual residue their presence left in unpopulated rooms. The film introduces themes of Freeman’s personal work prevalent in the images he is exhibiting for the first time at Carter Lane.
For “The Poetics of Space,” which assembles photographs taken in various locations with his 35mm camera, Freeman considered the philosophical works of Gaston Bachelard, which posit a psychological, even psychogeographical take on interiors, as well as the spiritual life of an object. In Freeman’s analog, un-retouched images it appears that he is capturing the vibrations of an object – it’s aura perhaps – the essential kernel that makes it transcend banality and become art.
Freeman often feels that he is merely somnambulating – allowing his camera to be a third eye detecting details he cannot perceive at the moment of shooting. The resulting pictures reveal a stamp of what was, much like the specters of Pompeii still linger in its long empty recesses. One word that seems to sum up Freeman’s work is oneiric - of or relating to dreams – which pertains to both the conceptual landscape of his images as well as the chemical experimentation they undergo in the darkroom. These processes are experimental because they employ entropy, and indicate abandoning the philosophy of science and embracing one of art and aesthetics.
For Freeman, his mission is stoked by the distinction between mind and soul, and he again looks to Bachelard, who once so concisely said, “For a simple poetic image, a flicker of the soul is all that’s needed.”