Depleted Associations
Elad Lassry
Book Review by Mary Warner Marien

Source - Issue 68 - Autumn - 2011 - Click for Contents

Issue 68 Autumn 2011
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Published by: JRP-Ringier
ISBN: 978-3-03764-152-1
Price: £17.00

Israel-born American filmmaker and photographer, Elad Lassry, makes photographs based in the visual palaver of mass media and vernacular portraiture. His demonising tweaks of cloying pet pictures will make you think twice about letting Fluffy sleep on your bed at night.

In one sense, you’ve seen this work before. Like the appropriated commercial imagery of postmodernism, Lassry’s images are reconfigured from their original contexts and put to new purpose. Yet they do not offer contextualising statements (as in Barbara Kruger’s I Shop Therefore I am). Using the small stands upon which commercial objects are often displayed, Lassry arranges thin photographs of objects, not the objects themselves. When he speaks of ghosting and orphaning images, he refers to his attempts to drain images of their associations. In effect, his pictures are enucleated. The objects in them do not cast shadows. They have become frail things, packaged in pretty prisons composed of colour-coordinated matching frames.Burmese Mother, Kittens, 2008, Elad LassryBurmese Mother, Kittens, 2008, Elad Lassry

Like those who practice Concrete Photography, Lassry’s work is based on the conscious depletion of associations, in an attempt to evoke the last gasps of imagery that has, in his words, "no address and no home". But unlike the Concrete photography, his images are not abstract. You can recognise what they once represented. Perhaps Lassry’s pictures are not prisons after all, but gaudy tombstones for the remains of the postmodern.

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