Rodney Graham

Regular price $475.00

Oak Tree, Red Bluff, #8, 1993/2005

Silver gelatin print
Print size: 40.0 x 47.0 cm 
Image size: 28.0 x 35.0 cm 
Numbered and Signed by the Artist - Edition of 500

The Vancouver Art Gallery Artist Editions was launched in 2005 with a photograph by the internationally renowned Vancouver-based artist Rodney Graham. The image chosen by the artist for this edition is that of an upside down California oak tree, one of a series of photographs originally shot in 1993. Graham’s, now famous, inverted image of the tree is intended to both evoke the origins of photography, in echoing the reversed and inverted image that was created by the early camera obscura, and to call attention to the rationalizing processes that frame and define our vision of the world. Discussing his upside down tree photographs in an interview, Rodney Graham stated:

“You don’t have to delve very deeply into modern physics to realize that the scientific view holds that the world is really not as it appears. Before the brain rights it, the eye sees a tree upside down in the same way it appears on the glass back of the large format field camera I use. I chose the tree as an emblematic image because it is often used in diagrams in popular scientific books and because it was used in Saussure’s book on linguistics to show the arbitrary relation between the so-called signifier and the signified. I was also using a kind of readymade strategy based on the disputable assumption that a photograph is not art but an upside down photo is.”

- excerpt from an interview with Rodney Graham by Anthony Spiria, Whitechapel Art Gallery