Fotograf Magazine

Marianne Vierø

Invariant Plates

November 7 – December 4, 2014


For her solo exhibition at Fotograf Gallery, Marianne Vierø explored her fascination with J. F. Earhart’s 1892 book The Color Printer: A Treatise on the Use of Colors in Typographic Printing. As the title suggests, the book is a detailed treatise on working with color in typographic printing, and Vierø selected examples from it which she then meticulously reproduced using the analog color process. By superimposing colored light she thus rendered tangible the very essence of the book – a source-material for imitation – into digital form.

Still, despite remaining faithful to the principles of the original book, when taken apart from their original utilitarian function the isolated representations can become empty of meaning to the point of turning into dysfunctional signs, abstract and decorative, or remain merely a stark visual statement – irreversibly alienated. One senses a conceptual framework behind the exhibition, which overlaps with the actual process of digital materialization, a concept unwittingly betrayed to the viewer by the vestige of a peculiar accident in the seam of one of the reproductions. But paradoxically it is most essentially concentrated in that which cannot by definition be seen – the long, painstaking work in the inevitable darkness. Vierø has most inventively used this method in a project made for the Riga-based Gallery 427, for which she used the same approach to materialize the retouching of Photoshop. Her exhibition in Prague may thus be read as the trial run of a working method employing fascinating source material, but it lacks the wit and playful originality of other work by Marianne Vierø.

Jan Kolský