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Installation view of "Karl Baden: Every Day 2.23.87 - 2.23.07, Twenty Years / Ten Bucks" Howard Yezerski Gallery, Boston MA
Provided by the artist - Karl Baden
Every Day: 2/23/87 - 2/23/07
Twenty Years - Ten Bucks
May 4 - May 29, 2007
Opening Reception: Friday May 4th 5 -7 pm
From May 4 - 29, 2007, Howard Yezerski Gallery will be exhibiting an installation of 7,300 photographs marking the 20th anniversary of gallery artist Karl Baden's work-in-progress 'Every Day'.
In the midst of all the recent buzz about various twenty-something's taking daily pictures of their faces and posting them on YouTube as Quicktime films, it is possible to overlook the fact that Karl Baden has been quietly and consistently making a daily photograph of his own face for more than two decades, and has presented various facets of this ongoing, lifelong endeavor in more than a dozen exhibition spaces and publications. Baden, a photographer and faculty member at Boston College, began the series 'Every Day' on February 23rd 1987. Since that date, he has, on a daily basis, made a photograph of his face. The circumstances under which this picture is taken, says Baden, "... are as controlled as I am able to make them and still maintain a life. I use a single camera, a single type of extremely high-resolution film, an electronic strobe, a tripod and a white backdrop. A small, additional tripod and backdrop make the setup portable; it accompanies me when I travel. The camera is always set at the same distance. I try to center myself in the frame, maintain a neutral expression and look straight into the lens."
Baden considers it essential that each days image be no more nor less than a detailed visual record of his presence. "I intentionally avoid odd framing, engaging composition, unusual lighting or any other strategy that favors the photograph at the expense of the subject," he states, adding, " In essence, my attempt has been to standardize the technical and logistic aspects of this procedure to the extent that only one variable remains: whatever change may occur in my face and flesh, measured obsessively and incrementally by the day, for the rest of my life."
The nature of 'Every Day' presumes it to be a work in progress. The form of its presentation varies, depending on space and circumstance. Being somewhat older than the YouTube generation, Baden has so far limited display of his project to gallery and museum settings, re-configuring the presentation, photograph, digital image or time-lapse film, to fit each venue.
In this site-specific installation, Baden will cover the walls of Howard Yezerski Gallery's back room with contact size prints of every image from the first twenty years of the project. These photographs, each measuring approximately 1.2 by 1.7 inches, are printed on doubleweight, fiber-based gelatin silver paper. Each is dated, signed and numbered (from an edition of 3). All prints are priced at ten dollars each, available on a first-come, first-served basis. By pricing the work so low, Baden takes a subtle poke at the workings of the art market, as well as adding a participatory component to the exhibition, encouraging anyone to purchase prints from days which may have resonance in his or her life. The photographs will be removed from the installation as they are purchased, much the same as how the individual days disappear from our own lives. To view the installation in it's entirety, members of the press are urged to come to the gallery prior to the opening on May 3rd.