The use of photography as a means to say where we are and what we’re seeing is important. How one choses to picture a scene somehow evokes the feeling of where they’re at in the final image. What the happy problem then becomes, for artists, is how to navigate through our own archives, to see through what everyone else sees on trips to find our own vision to say what we want to say.
Artists Andrew Marino and Andrew Weathers have been talking back and forth with photography for sometime now. They have a wonderful new photo book out called We Don’t Have Sun Like This. The volume showcases photographs from Marino and Weathers presented side by side, Marino’s, taken in North Carolina, and Weathers’, taken in California. The smart diptychs from both photographers play off each other’s strengths — Weathers’ eye for experimental color and Marino’s head for composition and the uncanny. Already duly aware of the North Carolina landscape and Marino’s photography, his photos felt like a bit of home to me and when placed beside Weathers’ California views, what he was seeing felt familial, too.
The third thing that happens when two images are placed beside each other is exploited by both photographers. Where each photographer is stationed becomes slightly and delightfully disoriented to the viewer when each pairing is made. This sequence in particular caught my eye — here, light, or the underpinning concept thereof, is validated through Weathers’ craned-up camera in a flash in a chandelier. Marino seeks it out it the tall, tall cattails, each flower like a lightbulb for the sun’s electricity. Each photograph compliments and simultaneously contradicts the other. Interiors verus exteriors, night versus day, real verus fake, otherwise not making sense separately, but making all the sense in the world after every turn of the page.
Yet each photographer maintains their own voice throughout the conversation. At the end, it reads, on opposing pages, “Photographs on the left were made by Andrew Weathers in California” and “Photographs on the right were made by Andrew Marino in North Carolina.” What’s successful about We Don’t Have Sun Like This is the use of the book form as a conceptual basis for the images and where from which they’re taken. Weathers’ images felt like California to me before even reaching the end of the book and the fact that they were on the left side of the page might’ve been a subliminal clue. And all the way on the right side of the page, were Marino’s North Carolina images, balancing out the other coast.
I’m starting to feel like a spoiler for this photo book. There’s just so much to discover and figuring out how and why pairings were made. We Don’t Have Sun Like This is a great opportunity to get to know two artists and friends through their conversations with photography. The photographs and sequences are challenging that make it a joy to thumb through and come back to multiple times. Andrew Weathers and Andrew Marino’s clever eyes give their viewers something deeper to discover in photography and more importantly, how it can be used. A lot of the time, pictures say more than the photographer can know.
Pick up a copy of We Don’t Have Sun Like This from Experimedia. Check more of what Andrew Weathers is up to at his website and if you haven’t seen read it already, see the Empty Stretch interview with Andrew Marino.