This work was created as part of the Photography Is Magic Commission project curated by Charlotte Cotton.


"The artists who have created bespoke works in response to Photography Is Magic reconsider photographic traditions and implement new skills to create their versions of photographic sleight of hand. Their photographic magic derives from the span of the medium’s rich history, from analog through to the newest imaging technologies, and is set within the framework of the present moment of visual culture."


—Charlotte Cotton


Hannah Whitaker’s Solar Panel/Barn/Paper speaks to the crucial act of misdirection in close-up magic tricks: the capacity of a magician to move our attention away from the sleight of hand taking place in front of us. The forms in Whitaker’s photograph seem to present themselves as being literally arranged on the paper but, simultaneously, offer abundant clues about the falsity of this initial assumption, found especially in the discernable photographic subjects that Whitaker combines. The physical photograph is formally definite, while the juxtapositions of real-world subjects are magically illogical.


"My works are shot on 4-by-5 film through hand-cut paper screens. I use film in order to limit the field of possibilities. You can think of film as allowing for an infinite set of possibilities, and of digital processes as allowing for even more infinite possibilities. I find limitations to be generative, so I prefer the smaller field."


—HW

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