Image of artwork titled "#85 02" by Rachael Browning

Rachael Browning, #85 02, 2020
Archival pigment print
20.25 × 20.25 × 1.5 inches
Edition of 3 + 1 AP

Rachael Browning’s practice, here sliding between photography and sculpture, uses humor, tension, and hardware to compose and effect solutions to self-devised problems. Traveling across the country with an armory of hardware and her medium format camera, the artist manipulates her surroundings, rectifying natural elements in order to achieve a temporary state of perfect–and absurd–equilibrium. As opposed to records of one-time sculptures, Browning’s photographs become discrete objects themselves, engineered specifically for their frontal qualities in a process approximating drawing. Never showing the horizon line, the photographs undergo scalar shifts that occasionally abstract the landscape; close-ups and panoramas alike draw the viewer’s eye inward toward the apparent subject.

While still a continuation of the tradition of land art, particularly in terms of alteration of the landscape in order to change the goals and parameters of art, Browning’s work assumes an opposite position; she views the transitory nature of her photographed objects as critical to their understanding. Land art, for all its grandeur, is most commonly experienced as ephemera in the museums it sought to make obsolete. Browning’s photographs, themselves enduring objects, delight in the impermanence of their subjects.



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