Scott McFarland, “Quality Photo Lab, 1300 Cahuenga Blvd., Los Angeles,” 2008, injet print, 58 x 111 1/2”.
At first glance, two of the largest photographs in Scott McFarland’s intriguing show, inkjet prints of an emptied penguin pool at the London Zoo, look quite similar. But as soon as you recognize that architect Berthold Lubetkin’s 1934 structure curves as if seen from a unique point of view in McFarland’s black and white rendition, you’re on to something interesting. The Canadian photographer’s investigation of relationships between digital photography’s crafted illusions and the artificial “nature” found in built environments such as zoos and gardens is fascinating. McFarlane arches the position of his camera while shooting multiple views of the elliptically shaped penguin confine. Then he skillfully combines the segments digitally, further distorting the modernist building’s profile, moving beyond documentation of one specific moment in time. Meticulously stitching together images taken one after another, McFarland makes these photographs worth more than a second look.
Published courtesy of ArtScene