i can’t stop thinking about yesterday
October 23, 2012
Today Is A Good Day to Die is the title of the book that sits in the center of Kent Rogowski’s life size photograph of a series of self-help books photographed on the half title page. Everything is black font on white paper, simple, understated elegance that allows the essence of the book titles to sweep us away into a narrative, a story about life that travels through time, using words to mark our journey as we consider what has happened and how to negotiate it. Titles like Dancing With Yesterday’s Shadows, No End to Yesterday, Tomorrow is Today, The Myth of Tomorrow, a narrative that flows depending which way you read it, a series of mantras that appeals to the need for a frame by which to view our lives. Here we see in just a few words all the possible outcomes of this moment in time. Titled, “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” the print towers at 65 x 55 inches in size, framed alongside a selection of other prints from this series in an exhibition titled “I Can’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow” at Jen Bekman, New York, from October 20 through November 25.
Rogowski builds his grids of books in three dimensions so that they must line up in a way they never could were he not constructing the photograph. Everything appears flat. It is not. There are inches, sometimes feet, separating the heights and depths of the books so that the depth of field completely disappears in each photograph. For the large scale photographs, he climbs a ladder and shoots seventeen feet above the ground in order to maintain the integrity of the life-size image. And that’s the trick—the fact that these books lie within our grasp, presented as artworks unto themselves, as items that can become just their titles, the perfect soundbyte that speaks in clipped tones with neighboring titles, cleverly positioned by Rogowski for maximum effect….