Brandon Lattu: empirical, textual, contextual


Brandon Lattu: Empirical, Textual, Contextual, installation view 2021. Courtesy of UCR ARTS. Photo by David Hartwell.

UCR ARTS is pleased to present the first career investigation in the United States of the work of Brandon Lattu. Empirical, textual, contextual, curated by Charlotte Cotton is visible through On February 6, 2022, at the UCR ARTS California Museum of Photography in downtown Riverside, California.

Set in the large, mercurial image environment in which we create and consume, this sensory and cerebral exhibition examines Lattu’s twenty-five years of artistic practice working in photography, sculpture, and video. Including both his pioneering work as a pioneer of digital imaging processes as well as recent and new projects that use technologies such as computer-aided design and light sensors, the exhibition offers insight into the lines guiding principles of his substantial creative life.

Brandon Lattu: Empirical, Textual, Contextual, installation view 2021. Courtesy of UCR ARTS. Photo by David Hartwell.

Speaking on the concept and title of his exhibition, Brandon Lattu says: “This exhibition oscillates between the empirical experience of fascination and the way in which the indiscipline of art is frequently governed by texts, visible or not. “.

“Brandon’s cultural influence lies in his continued ability to advance ideas about photography and the models and paradoxes of our cultural conditions, regardless of material form. This exhibition offers a distilled and dynamic experience of a remarkable creative journey over the past three decades, which has resulted in an exhibition of deep contemporary resonance, ”said exhibition curator Charlotte Cotton.

The works on display include unique photographic prints, animated videos and slideshows, computer-sculpted sculptures and an interactive light installation. Miracle Mile (2000) is a sequence of images depicting lighted signs perpendicular to the flow of traffic on Wilshire Boulevard between Fairfax and La Brea avenues in Los Angeles. An early and curious use of digital imagery and composition, each section stacks the illuminated panels inside respecting their actual position and relative scale.

The Not Human (2013) slideshow focuses on the computational failure of the first biometric algorithms to distinguish between an inanimate representation of a face and an actual human being. Using Lattu’s photographic archive of 120,000 images digitally captured between 2003 and 2013, the algorithmic filters still fail to recognize human subjects and instead select and crop the facial images used in the advertisement that are rendered. public by the commercial desires of the industry. The constant digital errors are both infuriating and entertaining, especially in light of the inherent biases as well as failures of our current biometric environment.

Reciprocity of Light (2007-10 / 202) is a work of art exploring photographic representation, architecture and bodily interactivity. First developed by Lattu in 2007, the installation is activated by the movement of bodies through space, transforming a spectator’s shadow projected from a point light source onto a network of sensitive cells. light so that the shadow is produced in a display of light, a reversal of our normal phenomenological expectation of a shadow as a denial of light. The simultaneous action of single cells demonstrates the index nature of photography by ignoring the shape and movement of the body in real time.

Other work investigates the empirical abilities of photography, such as Denim, Levi’s 501 ©, Made in USA (2002), where Lattu scanned the denim from a pair of Levi’s 501 © and printed it at full size to render the most precise rendering of this iconic American material. Since the completion of this work, the production of Levi’s 501 © jeans has moved outside the USA. Together, the forty or so objects on display bear witness to Lattu’s relentless experimental approach to the conceptual freedom of photography.

Support for this exhibit comes from UCR CHASS, Town of Riverside, Kathy Wright & Dwight Tate and Ann DeWolfe.

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About Brandon Lattu

Lattu investigates the ever-changing state of representation in order to move beyond the conventional empiricism that world images have traditionally invoked. His work addresses in particular the social structures emphasized and reinforced by models of perspective and abstraction as well as spatial hierarchies in architecture and commerce.

Personal exhibitions include Richard Telles Fine Art, Los Angeles (2019); Koenig and Clinton, New York (2013); Mak Center for Art and Architecture, Los Angeles (2010); and Kunstverein, Bielefeld, Germany (2007). His work has been included in group exhibitions at the Tasweer Photo Festival Qatar (2021); the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, United States (2013); Powerstation of Art, Shanghai, China (2012); Fundación Jumex, Ecatapec, Mexico (2012); Museum Ostwall, Dortmund, Germany (2011); the Stedelijk Museum Bureau, Amsterdam, the Netherlands (2009); Vox Center for Contemporary Image, Montreal, Canada (2008); the Essl Collection, Vienna, Austria (2007); Center Pompidou, Paris, France (2006); and Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland (2000).

Lattu lives and works in Los Angeles and is a professor in the art department at the University of California, Riverside

About Charlotte Cotton

Exhibition curator Charlotte Cotton is currently artistic director of the Tasweer Photo Festival Qatar. She has held many institutional positions, including that of Curator of Photographs at the Victoria and Albert Museum; head of programming at the Photographers’ Gallery in London; curator in residence at ICP, New York; and curator and director of the Wallis Annenberg photography department at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. She is the author of books including Photography is Magic [2015]; Public, private, secret: on photography and self-configuration [2018]; and the fashion image revolution [2018]. His book, Photography as Contemporary Art, is published in more than ten languages ​​and has been a key text in charting the rise of photography as an undisputed art form in the 21st century. The fourth edition was published in September 2020.


UCR ARTS advances understanding and appreciation of the arts through extraordinary experiences in contemporary visual and performing arts, as well as in photography and photographic technologies, past and present. Featuring major exhibitions, artist projects, community performances and programs, as well as independent and foreign language films, UCR ARTS engages global and regional audiences.

UCR ARTS opened in 2010, bringing together the California Museum of Photography (founded 1973), the Jack and Marilyn Sweeney Art Gallery (1963) and the Barbara & Art Culver Center of the Arts (2010).

The extensive collections of art, photography and research at the California Museum of Photography and the Jack and Marilyn Sweeney Art Gallery make UCR ARTS an important destination for the public as well as for researchers working in a wide range of fields. .

Visitor Information

Admission is free thanks to the generosity of sponsors Altura Credit Union and Anheuser-Busch. Advance reservations are encouraged and can be made online. Email [email protected] with any questions or for further assistance.

In response to COVID-19, many precautions are in place, including:

  • Face masks are mandatory regardless of vaccination status.
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Hours: Thursday and Friday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday 11 am-5pm Closed Monday to Wednesday.

UCR ARTS, which includes the California Museum of Photography and the Culver Center of the Arts, is located at 3824 + 3834 Main Street in downtown Riverside, California. Paid parking is available on several nearby lots.


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