Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Mark Klett

Mark Klett studied geology before working as a photographer with the U.S. Geological Survey. In the late 1970s, along with Ellen Manchester, JoAnn Verburg, Gordon Bushaw and Rick Dingus, he undertook the re-documentation of many places in the Western United States that had been photographed in the 19th century by territorial survey photographers such as Timothy O'Sullivan, William Henry Jackson and John Hillers. The Rephotographic Survey Project (RSP), as it was called, repeated over 120 19th century photographs between 1977 and 1979. In 1997 Klett and a new group undertook a new project, called Third View, which returned to many of the sites to make a set of third images. There is a great Third View website -- link is on the right.

I'm not sure of the provenance of the video below. This has only been up on Youtube since May 2010. The clips are accompanied by this text:

Mark Klett, a Regents Professor of Art at Arizona State University, and fellow photographer Byron Wolfe have spent three summers locating the sites of historic photographs and artworks of the Grand Canyon and making new photographs at the same locations.

These new photographs explore the relationship of the original images to the spaces they depict. The approach is intentionally experimental and playful, but the results are meant to explore the early art of the canyon and how the Grand Canyon landscape became one of American arts icons.