by Dan Aldo
Lisa Saltzman’s exquisite black and white photographs exhibited recently at Artifact are focused on, pictorially and ideologically, human condition in the urban environment. Figurative objects in the artist’s work are signifiers whose purpose oscillates between two poles of meaning. They are ontological signs separating us from our surroundings, while becoming part of them. Yet, a teleological sensation surely has been implaced behind the sense-impressions of space and bodies within it, which Saltzman refers to.
The artist has, through fragmentation and deconstruction, endowed her scenes both with a subliminal sense of narrative and with a sense of detachment. I suggest that this internal and purposeful contradiction is at the root of the imagistic impact in the Saltzman’s work. At the same time, she uses long exposures to demarcate not only a passage of time from the past into the present and beyond, into the future, it is the way that sense of futurity is depicted and sensed.
These are haunting images. They illuminate through their presence the conundrums and deep enigma of what life could possibly be about other than to be immersed in the moment of the void, which we meet and are met in a time that has been allowed for that very purpose. The artist’s work communicates an authentic experiential meaning as well as an intimacy of the act of communication itself to be perceived and seen. This differentiated articulation of life-world as well as of psychic tension allows what T.S. Eliot called “a progressive variation of feeling” to resonate throughout remarkable photographs of Lisa Saltzman.