|What to do as a young photographer, trained in, enamored of, yet burdened by the weight of certain American photographic icons: Robert Frank, Stephen Shore, William Eggleston, William Christenberry, Robert Adams, Joel Sternfeld? Team up, go on a road trip across America, and take the piss. Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs (both Swiss and born in 1979) made a series of trips between 2005 and 2008, during which they photographed the clichés: desert landscapes, tract houses, funny signs, motel rooms, and the road itself. Yet instead of generating a subjective vision of America through documentary photographs, honoring that sacrosanct tension in art photography, the Salingerian duo has desecrated their own work, manipulating, splicing, puncturing, montaging, spattering, and rephotographing the original prints, as if in an effort to make the photographs emote more, to insert (or doubt?) the romantic loneliness of that other Swiss roadster Robert Frank; to enhance (or make fun of?) the deadpan humor of Stephen Shore; to augment (because maybe one just couldn’t quite feel it at the time?) the sense of revelation of William Eggleston. The Great Unreal asks how true photography is and goes further: are we—were we ever—capable of authentic experience?
Kevin Moore, Independent Curator