Roger Fenton (28 March 1819 – 8 August 1869) was born into a Lancashire merchant family. After graduating from Oxford with an Arts degree, he became interested in painting and later developed a keen interest in the new technology of photography after seeing early examples of at The Great Exhibition.
Off the beaten path of equilibrated and scientific presentation, Robert Hershkowicz offers us an open discussion, with hypothesis, and open questions. Someone will ask why there is no chimical description, no date, why those photos are attributed to Fenton, RH asks usif we see the triangles in the landscape, the human heads aligned with floating stones, the ying and the yang on the horizont.
This fresh exhibition remind us the richness of the archive left over by the history of photography, the multiplication of paths that branch off in the way of interpreting and presenting that history, and the deadly boredom of politically and scientifically correct presentation.
“Previous Fenton scholars have presented his extraordinary, extensive career in terms of chronology and subject. However, the essential Fenton is best unveiled by examining aspects of his work, in both print and image, that are personal and recurring, irrespective of subject and circumstance. The mystery behind some of his most potent images is that they are simultaneously totally accessible, while also being seriously elusive. Though many nineteenth century photographers believed photography could teach the mind to see, Fenton’s images uniquely demonstrate photography could teach us to see the mind.”