Sam Falls at Galleria Franco Noero Gallery, Turin

Sine Sole Sileo is the first monographic exhibition by Sam Falls opens at Galleria Franco Noero in Turin. The exhibition runs from 29 May – 2 September 2017.

A text written by the artist specifically for the occasion follows.

Time tells every history, and withholds every future; we only see the light of the burning star lightyears away. Art is like this – tending the garden for fruit to grow: you work and then wait, you step back and look for fruit, you trim the dying parts of the plant and water the roots. Our hearts beat in waves, there’s a pulse that goes up and down – we can understand this – but how can we be the blood? Nature offers a perspective into this pure potential. I’ve always been inspired by the magnificent and grandiose black and white photographs of Ansel Adams, encouraging the viewer to head for the wilder parts of nature. Reciprocally, I often consider the cautious tale told by Robert Adams’s sublime and melancholy photographs of modern man’s caustic and distanced relationship to the American landscape. I was thinking, how can I engage with our national forests on the same level, to continue this artistic consideration and dedication to nature, when the history is well documented, and the future is uncertain? I decided to visit national parks across the country and work within them, with the same photographic precepts as Adams and Adams, but using a paintbrush instead to try and enter the bloodstream rather than picture the pulse. As with photography, these works are tracings of light, but over an extended exposure that would be impossible with a camera – rather than 1/6th of a second, these trace the shadow of a native plant or stone for six hours. Beginning at high-noon, I follow the shadow across the linen until sunset, starting over with a new color every time I reached the end of the shadow-plane. Chasing the shadow with the brush, the tracings become organic sundials, an image of a place both fleeting and permanent. They are pictures of a light and time that has been repeating for centuries, as with the petrified wood in the Petrified Desert National Park, or more ephemerally by season like the deciduous leaves in the Green Mountain National Forest. The experience of making these works lends such an intimacy and inspiration still guided by the slow working style of large format photography, that I also captured the subject at the beginning or end of the day with an 8×10 camera. I took only one photo of each place/plant on positive transparency film and framed it in a copper frame (based on the film holder) which then hangs in the window creating an equation of intimacy: the light from the place and time was captured on this film and then re-animated from sun-up to sun-down by the natural light of it’s subsequent location. The sculptures of wood and light are also tracings, this time using glass and gas to illuminate to organic structure of redwood. The reclaimed wood comes from fallen trees in the Redwood National Forest. Centuries old, they’ve finally come to rest and now as an homage in a sense, mineral glass houses various gases to illustrate this history of growth. Together, the goal of these various works is to ride the pulse of ambient geological time and give an image, a portrait, of light and space as it passes through the vulnerable permanence of natural preserves amidst western growth.

Sam Falls

Galleria Franco Noero – via Mottalciata 10/b Turin
Opening Monday 29 May 2017,
29 May – 2 September