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


Sara VanDerBeek’s Half is a new work created exclusively for this Aperture commission, representing her current explorations of the material and imaginative properties of the photographic form. VanDerBeek aligns Half to one of the central tenets of Photography Is Magic: that photographs can act as prompts for the creation of magic in the viewer’s imagination, by confusing and misdirecting his or her attention. This work is intentionally created to act as a constant illusion that confounds us by beautifully conflating the physical and imaginary affects of a photograph into a single image.


"I am constantly striving for my images to rest somewhere between the actual and the imagined. Many of the formal decisions I make during their capture, and their eventual conclusion through digital and chromogenic printing processes, are attempts to reach a dynamic balance of observation and abstraction. My hope is that the images give the sense that they are of something that can be recognized as belonging to the real world, but also perhaps to the world of dreams, of memory, and of the imagination."


—SV

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