Monday, September 10, 2012

Alan Cohen

Alan Cohen portrait by Jordan Schulman, 2006

IMPROBABLE BOUNDARIES:  Improbable Boundaries document the natural, imposed, geologic, or treaty lines that divide forces, actions, places one from the other. Sites within this series include the equator, various prime meridians, continental divides or contiguous land areas created by treaty, war or nature.

"Improbable Boundaries, Continental
Divide", 2004

"Improbable Boundaries, Equator", 1999

"Improbable Boundaries, Holy Roman Empire", 2005

LINES OF AUTHORITY:  Lines of Authority are images that straddle the absolute borders dividing two legal entities—the treaty or geographic demarcations between institutions, states, and nations.

"Lines of Authority, Belgium/
Netherlands", 2010

"Lines of Authority, Gila River Reservation/
United States", 2004

NOW:  NOW pictures lift known cataclysmic events into the present. Through the documentation of contemporary ground the viewer is moved to ground zeros, killing and burial sites and the paths of cruel barriers now dissolved.

"NOW, Marathon to Olympia -- First Finish Line,
Greece", 2006

"NOW, Berlin Wall", 2005

"NOW, Guernica, Spain", 2003

"NOW, Nazi Death Camp, KZL --
Auschwitz, Poland", 1994

MILITARY ARCHEOLOGY:  Military Archeology documents the specialized and period architecture of the fortress itself, its gun emplacements, its ramparts, the fortified bunkers and the ordinance storage facilities.

"Military Archeology, Hao Lo Prison, 'Hanoi Hilton',
Vietnam", 2010

"Military Archeology, Dover Cliff Fortifications
from Napoleon Era, Dover, England", 2003

"Military Archeology, Site of Last Publid Guillotining,
Paris, France", 2010

IN SITU:  In Situ records places of legend - The Dead Sea, Death Valley, meteor impact sites, glacial areas and the volcanized earth of the United States and Hawaii the Caribbean, and Mexico. This series also includes ground made special by art - Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty, Richard Serra's Tilted Arc, and Tony Smith's sculpture at the base of the World Trade Center.

"In Situ, Galapagos", 1999

"In Situ, Death Valley, California", 2002

CONSTRUCTIONS:  Constructions are the abstracted endpoints of mirrors, plexiglass and prosaic materials injected into the perspective views of quarries, construction sites and public places.

"Construction 2-05", 1990

"Construction 147-04",1989

"Construction 27-02", 1990

I am most grateful to Mr. Cohen for his generous permission allowing me to
feature his work here on my blog; and to Jordan Schulman, as well, for
his kind permission to reproduce his portrair of Mr. Cohen here.

Biography from Alan Cohen's web site:

Alan Cohen grew up in Pennsylvania and North Carolina. After earning a degree in nuclear engineering at North Carolina State University and beginning a doctoral program in thermodynamics at Northwestern University, he began photographing and eventually left the sciences to study photography. As a graduate student at the Illinois Institute of Technology's Institute of Design, he studied with Aaron Siskind, Arthur Siegel, Garry Winogrand, Charles Swedlund, Ken Josephson, and Joe Jachna. He was awarded a M.Sc. Photography degree in 1972.

Married to Susan Walsh, Cohen lives in Chicago and is an Adjunct Full Professor in the Art History, Theory, Criticism Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a member ofthe visiting faculty at Columbia College Chicago's Department Of Photography.