From Sept 8th through Oct 20th, 2010.
Gallery I/D is currently presenting the exhibition Wildfire by Sasha Bezzubov. This show features a collection of photographs that document the aftermath of wildfires in California from 2003 to 2007. The large-format prints show the cumulative damage after nature wreaks its infernal and mighty power on places where humans have trod and perhaps, from nature’s perspective, invaded. The gorgeous West where vacationers commiserate with nature, set up camp to be closer to creation, and build homes in search of their inner quiet, is shown devoid of any humans, merely parts and particles of their presence pre-wildfires.
The images in Wildfire evoke feelings of post-war destruction and post-apocalyptic ravage. Yet they are beautiful in their composition and serve as a reminder of photography of what used to be the “wild” West, with expansive landscapes and pure grandeur punctuated by tones of gold and brown. Some of the images look like desert landscapes, but they are simply smoke-damaged scenes of destruction. The Ukrainian-American Bezzubov writes in his project statement that Wildfire “pays tribute to those earlier photographs, but also to bring them and the landscape they helped to fashion into question.” seeing the charred remains of cars, homes and other objects fashioned by human hands begs certain questions: Should we be there? Could we have prevented the fires? Will Mother Nature forgive us? Answers may not be easy to come by, but some of the images offer suggestions. In “Wildfire #78,” taken in 2008 after the Witch Creek Fire in Rancho Bernardo, California, we see a spiral staircase jutting into the landscape. Around it is the rubble of the home that once encased the stairs; behind it the cement and iron bar fence that was put around the house to offer it a measure of protection. If we listen to the echo of logic that whispers to us when seeing the photo, we have to conclude that no man can stand in the way of nature and her intentions. Other California locations where Bezzubov photographed for Wildfire include Plumas National Forest, Running Springs, San Diego County, and Cedar Glen.
A multiple recipient of the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship Award for his work in Vietnam and India, Sasha Bezzubov is a photographer whose work utilizes various genres from portraiture to landscape and addresses conditions in the modern world that are shaped by history, politics and the environment. Working with a large format camera Sasha Bezzubov’s work deals with the world through a documentary practice that could be described as “creative treatment of actuality”. Sasha Bezzubov’s first monograph, “Wildfire” was published by Nazraeli Press in 2009 with an introduction by Bill McKibben, and his work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Esquire, Newsweek, Details, The Telegraph Magazine and Art and Auction, among others. His work is in the collection of Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Joy of Giving Something Foundation, the Allen G. Thomas Jr. Collection, and the Yale University’s Haas Library, as well as numerous private collections. Bezzubov has been a resident and visiting artist at Millay Colony for the Arts, International Center for Photography, The Cooper Union School of Art, Fashion Institute of Technology, Bakery Photographic Collective, and CW Post College. He has exhibited widely in the US and Europe and his work is represented by Daniel Cooney Fine Art (NY), Taylor DeCordoba (LA) and Gallery I/D (Miami). In addition to his solo work, Sasha Bezzubov has collaborated with Jessica Sucher since 2002 on such projects as Expats and Natives, The Searchers series, and most recently, Facts on the Ground. Sasha Bezzubov is a graduate of the MFA program in Photography at Yale School of Art.
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