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STATEMENT


Robert Charles Mann - Waialohe Point, MauiI hope you find my photographs an experience rich in dreams and that they induce an exploration of the psyche. Several different lensless cameras are used to accomplish this. The pinhole camera has a way of suggesting objects rather than representing them because of the particular quality the pinhole image produces. This suggestive character carries with it a more profound mystery, which is not found on the surface of the image but rather in the possibilities of interpretation. The pinhole camera provides the aesthetic means needed for a subjective experience by the viewer. When this technique is combined with my themes and choice of subjects, the photographs begin to breath and become metaphoric environments.

A singular characteristic of pinhole photography is the fact that exposures are quite long varying from seconds to several hours or days, or in the case of solargraphs, up to six months. This cumulative exposure produces effects that cannot be seen by the eye. Moving objects become translucent, having a vibrating quality, and some objects may become completely transparent in the process due to displacement during exposure.

The Solargraph Series is based upon the idea that the path of the sun through the sky changes each day and that a long exposure will yield a cumulative image of these paths, I point the pinhole camera toward the sky where the sun will be during the six months from solstice to solstice, either winter to summer or summer to winter. The final image is not a montage of several different images, but rather the result of a single continuous exposure for six months of the sun. This work bridges old school traditional techniques with modern digital techniques. The prints for each image are made on pure cotton fiber based paper with permanent inks.

The Reflection Series is an experiment in both method and concept. Using the idea that moving water and a long exposure yield a cumulative image, I point the camera at a water surface in direct opposition to the sun. While standing in the water, I discover patterns of reflected sunlight, which are disturbed by currents and underlying objects. By using a red filter over the pinhole, the reflection is distinguished from the water as an abstract shape on an opaque background. These photographs, however, are not mere abstractions because their origins are entirely organic.

The Head Series is created with a hand-made pinhole camera, black and white film and an orange filter. I direct and choreograph each subject through a single exposure of two minutes in length, that is to say the final image is not a montage of several different images, but rather a unique performance by the subject changing positions during the exposure resulting in the accumulation of all positions recorded on one piece of film. The inspiration for this series was indeed the work of Francis Bacon. The way he can twist, mangle and distort his subject’s personas and still maintain their essence has always profoundly intrigued me.

The Window Series is created with a pinhole camera using 4×5 inch black and white film and inspired by an 18th century window found in the attic of my house in France. The window became the catalyst and my muse for this work in progress. Voyeurism is at the heart of photography. My intent here is for the viewer to be conscience of the voyeur in each of us as we examine the depths of our own thoughts. The prints for each image are made on either silver chlorobromide baryta fiber based paper or photo sensitized linen using a lithographic developer which yields its unique color and granularity due to the fibers of the paper being revealed in the surface image itself. Once I’ve edited a group of negatives, I print them in a highly variable process. An image’s significance may change with every choice I make concerning its qualities of contrast, density, and tone. A photographic image can be printed in thousands of ways. The tactile quality of the print is as important as the choice of materials. These prints are developed in a caustic soda solution that is very sensitive to temperature, dilution, rate of oxidation, and duration of the print’s immersion. After the print is developed, the final stages of the process ensure the archival stability of the silver chlorobromide paper stock I work with. The print constitutes half the aesthetic of the photograph. The thematic process that began before the exposure was made and a more spontaneous chemical experimentation both take place while printing the negative. The darkroom is truly a place of alchemy where conscious decisions are made to evoke an unconscious allure.

These photographs carry the possibility of many messages. They are enigmas born to be deciphered by the viewer.

Solargraph 20160621-02 Six month pinhole exposure of the sun's path over the Loire - Robert Charles Mann
Pinhole Solargraph 20160621-02

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EXHIBITIONS


• COEXISTER

2022 – Galerie Capazza, Laura Capazza-Durand curator, Nançay France

• ROBERT CHARLES MANN

2022 – Collégiale Saint-Pierre-le-Puellier, Laura Capazza-Durand curator, Orléans France

• ROBERT CHARLES MANN

2022 – Eurostar Paris, Alexandra Hillman curator, Paris France

• ROBERT CHARLES MANN

2022 – Galerie Odile Ouizeman, Odile Ouizeman curatrice, Paris France

• ENFANCES

2021 – Galerie Capazza, Laura Capazza-Durand curator, Nançay France

• CARDI PROJECTS

2020 – Cardi Gallery, Joe La Placa curator, London England

• FOUND WAVES

2020 – EXUO, Christophe Lalanne + Jérémie Lenoir curators, Tours France

• ART PARIS 2020 – LE GRAND PALAIS

2020 – Galerie Capazza, Laura Capazza-Durand curator, Nançay France

• AUTOUR DE RODIN

2020 – Galerie Capazza, Laura Capazza-Durand curator, Nançay France

• L’ARBRE C’EST LE TEMPS RENDU VISIBLE

2019 – Galerie Capazza, Laura Capazza-Durand curator, Nançay France

• LINES OF SIGHT

2019 – The Secret Garden of Dr Kappeler, Bonny Taylor-Ndaiye curator, Los Angeles, California

• SOLARGRAPHS

2018-2019 – Galerie Asinerie du Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire, Chantal Colleu-Dumond curator, Chaumont-sur-Loire France

• META PAYSAGES

2017-2018 – Galeries Hautes du Château de Chaumont-sur-Loire, Chantal Colleu-Dumond curator, Chaumont-sur-Loire France

• THEN CAME NOW

2012 – Musée de Vendôme, Aline Manoukian curator, Vendôme France

• SAINTS AND SINNERS

2011 – Antebellum Gallery, Rick Castro curator, Los Angeles, California

ROBERT CHARLES MANN

2011 – Les Curieuses, David Gaillard curator, Paris France

ROBERT MANN

2009 – Galerie Basia Embiricos, Ku Khahn curator, Paris, France

ROBERT MANN

2006 – Ritual Gallery, Arno Ferrié curator, Paris, France

PINGYAO INTERNATIONAL

2005 – Pingyao Museum, Pingyao, China

ROBERT CHARLES MANN

2004 – University of the Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

SUMMER GROUP EXHIBITION

2004 – Drabinsky Gallery, Toronto, Canada

• MARUBI 2003

2003 – National Gallery of Arts, Tirana, Albania

• ORBITS

2003 – Lonsdale Gallery, Linda Book curator, Toronto, Canada

• LANDSCAPES, HANDS, FLOWERS

2003 – Charles Nes Gallery, New York, New York

• PINHOLE AND PHOTOGRAMS

2003 – Lonsdale Gallery, Toronto, Canada

• NEW WORKS

2002 – Charles Nes, New York, New York

• REFLECTIONS

2002 – Lonsdale Gallery, Linda Book curator, Toronto, Canada

• FLOWERS

2002 – Michael Dunsford Gallery, Seattle, Washington

• ONE OFF

2001 – Special Photographers Gallery, London, England

• AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHERS

2001 – French Institute, New York, New York

• WHY PINHOLE?

2001 – Visual Studies Workshop Gallery, Rochester, New York

• VUES DE TOURAINE

2001 – Maison du Loir et Cher, Blois, France

• OUT THERE HERE

2000 – Provincetown Museum of Art, Provincetown, Massachusetts

• TRACING SHADOWS

2000 – Lonsdale Gallery, Toronto, Canada

• PHOTO L.A. 2000

2000 – Charles Nes, Santa Monica Civic, Santa Monica, California

• MILLENNIUM

1999 – Special Photographers Gallery, London, England

• MAGIAE NATURALIS

1999 – Lonsdale Gallery, Toronto, Canada

• PINHOLE ART

1999 – Ohio Art League, Columbus, Ohio

• WINDOW SERIES

1999 – Pinhole Visions Gallery, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

• SANS OBJECTIF

1998 – Carré Davidson Galerie, Tours, France

• PAYSAGES TOURAINE

1998 – Carré Davidson Galerie, Tours, France

• CAMERA READY

1998 – York Quay Gallery, Toronto, Canada

• PINHOLE INTERNATIONAL

1998 – Lonsdale Gallery, Toronto, Canada

• AVANT PREMIER

1997 – Claude Samuel Galerie, Paris, France

• ESPRIT DES LIEUX

1997 – Château de Tours, Tours, France

• PETIT FORMAT

1997 – Carré Davidson Galerie, Tours, France

Paradigm 19930800-12 Robert Charles Mann
Paradigm – 19930800-12
Triumph of the Egg 20020428-02 Robert Charles Mann
Triumph of the Egg – 20020428
19960800-08 from the Head Series - © Robert Charles Mann
The Pope – 19960800-08

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