Something Something Panorama
Mixed Media, 2011
Exhibition view
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Claudia Weber, sculpture, photography, site-specific, conceptual, ephemeral, Philadelphia, Eastern State Penitentiary, Vox Populi, magic sand, silence

'Something Something Panorama' centers on a frieze, an often ideologically laden format in which monumental scale and presentation serve to infuse the subject matter with privileged status. Utilizing the medium of photography, and emphasizing the transformational qualities of photographic representation, an ephemeral assemblage of mundane materials is given an aura of permanence and significance. This significance remains ambiguous, however, as the collected materials interact with each other to create new constellations of meaning through juxtapositions, both intended and accidental. The resulting tension between (monumental) stability and (ephemeral) flux directly reflects a parallel tension between the ontological reality of the objects and their frozen two-dimensionality on the surface of the photographic image.

Starting with a desire to explore the materiality of the past – the visual and tangible signifiers of the condition of temporality – and with an eye on the neighborhood around Vox Populi, materials were chosen that demonstrate changes in their condition, status, or meaning. For example, a piece of black-and-white striped fabric oscillates between being a contemporary fashion pattern and referencing the uniforms of prisoners at Eastern State Penitentiary, itself a manifestation of overlaid uses.
Recognizing the centrality of context in the negotiation of the myriad meanings that accrue to materials and forms, the staged photographic composition of 'Something Something Panorama' produces an experimental space that allows them to be temporarily released from their expected roles. The viewer is simultaneously challenged to question the seemingly inherent connotations and empowered to discover new, subjective significations.

'Something Something Panorama' was conceived for a solo exhibition at Vox Populi, Philadelphia.