Kyle Lang is an analog landscape photographer, fascinated by the potentials of this unique medium. Unlike other visual arts, photography records something that has once existed. It is not an interpretation of a thing but its evidential impression. Photography, however, still falls short at documentation with absolute fidelity. These two properties make photography a contingency; neither completely true nor false. Embracing this core principle of photography, Lang works within this liminal space of contingency, creating photographs that raise questions about the medium’s journalistic and documentary aspects. At the end of his residency in TYPA Kyle presented 3 photo series.
Protected Lands is a photographic essay of the national parks throughout the United States. The landscapes are presented in a way which reflects the artist’s experience. By placing the organic environment into an inorganic container, Lang is making a statement about the park systems which change the reality of the natural landscape.
Manifest Content is a long-term analog photography project which focuses on self documentation through two parts: sleep and dreams.
Sleeping is a ceremonial process which is done every night, and Lang began a new ritual of photographing himself throughout the night. Each image contains one full night’s sleep. Just before going to sleep, he begins his exposure and ends it once he wakes up, creating exposures that are anywhere from 3 to 8 hours long. Lang creates a vulnerable perspective of himself as he reveals himself to a viewer who can watch him sleep throughout 33 entire nights.
Dreams are internal and unfiltered dialogues which create elaborate hallucinations through associative memory. This visual aspect of the dream is called the Manifest Content, where the underlying message is the Latent Content. Moments after waking, Lang records any dreams into a journal. These notes are then translated into photographs. The created photographic dream journal becomes the second part of Manifest Content. He is taking the documentational medium of photography and creates surrealistic images which make no attempt at logical sense, however, are documentational in meaning.
Liminal Space by Lang is an exhibition of traditional darkroom photography, consisting of two bodies of work from the artist. The resulting space takes on an internal versus external approach to the contemplation of photography’s journalistic qualities. The images present themes of time, memory, and the environment.