Peter Tomka / Three Works
14.10.2021 – 26.10.2021
© Jean-Christophe Lett
Loë Zang is pleased to present Three Works a solo exhibition of photographs by Peter Tomka.
Three Works features three nude self-portraits taken by the artist with an analog camera, leaving the act of photographing and the tool itself as the subject. The movements of the artist, who seems to bend around the camera, suggest the physical aspect behind analog photography; these concepts of action and movement are countered by the still moment of a photograph, which is inevitably inscribed in the nature of the medium. The large-format silver gelatin prints thus evoke feelings of the ephemeral and the eternal at once.
The silver gelatin process as the prototype of classical photography recalls notions of perpetuity and the sublime. These concepts, which also come through in Tomka’s self-portraits, are disturbed by visible traces of manual execution: bends and folds do not hide, parts where the chemistry missed and parts where the chemistry mixed all show. Exposures were made blindly in the dark of the studio and developed in large vats of darkroom chemistry. The technical and aesthetic potential of the works results equally from the artist’s strategic approach, which is oriented more towards the approximate than the exact, and from leaving things to chance.
Tomka (born 1989 in Des Moines, Iowa, USA) studied fine arts at the University of Iowa and at the University of California, Riverside. His work is held in the collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Balch Art Research Library at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Three Works marks the first solo presentation of Tomka’s work in Europe.