Sunday, June 24, 2007

Philip-Lorca diCorcia at the ICA

I just recently saw the Philip-Lorca diCorcia show at The Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. It was truly one of the most inspiring exhibits I've ever seen. The sheer multitude of work presented in this retrospective is daunting to say the least. It spans the entire prolific career of an artist who's development is laid before you in a predominately chronological fashion. Though the amount of work in this exhibition is challenging to absorb in one viewing, what is apparent throughout is the artist's ability to alter our perception of reality.

DiCorcia's photography walks the fine line between fact and fiction. He often intricately stages his environments and subjects, creating a far more interpretative experience for the viewer. Though knowing whether the scenes are natural or contrived is unimportant when looking at DiCorcia's work, because the emotions expressed in his images are very real. His photographs communicate the common, but universal spectrum of emotions that everyone experiences at one time or another. Whether longing, vulnerability, despair, wonderment or simply boredom, DiCorcia's photographs are complex examinations into the collective psyche of the human experience.

A friend of mine once said that when something feels surreal, it's because in actuality it's too real. This is my experience with Philip-Lorca diCorcia's work. His photographs distill so much humanity, that it alters our conventional perception of reality.

-Ben Alper

From Top to Bottom:

'Brent Booth, 21 years old, Des Moines, Iowa $30'

Head # 13

All Images copyright Philip-Lorca diCorcia