Thomas Zummer exhibition at the Pacific Northwest College of Art
The Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA), in Portland, Ore., is currently exhibiting “Thomas Zummer: a partial retrospective of works I should have done”. The works span the course of Zummer’s (Critic, Graduate Studies and Digital+Media) career with more than 30 drawings, prints and sculptures.
It is a show about photography that has no photography in it. Rather, it’s a show about the apprehension, arrestment, fixation of an image, of what happens when we try to capture an image. It is about the relationship between representation (re-presentation) and reference, that to which the photo refers or purports to capture. It is about the complex performance process in which we engage to capture images and the passage of those images through various states via various media which point to the invisible apparatus for the production of that image. So in a sense, it is an exhibition about the archeology of contemporary image. At the same time, as his hand-inscribed wall text will suggest, this is an exhibition about the duality inherent in the word, “abstraction,” which means both to draw away from and to draw out of such that any representation, no matter the aim at fidelity, participates in both eliciting from and departing from the content of the original. And of course, as the title suggests, this partial retrospective is a show with a sense of humor, seen especially in his absurd architectural proposals such as his beautifully impossible rotating UN building.
Zummer’s work is enriched by the fruits of his rigorous philosophical investigations and critical theoretical work focusing on continued exploration of ideas of Michel Foucault, for whom Zummer was a research assistant at Berkeley, and the history of technology including his obsession with robots.
The exhibit will be open through August 5, 2012 at the PNCA Main Campus, Philip Feldman Gallery + Project Space, 1241 NW Johnson St, Portland, Ore.