chris engman's immersive architectural landscapes explore perception and illusion

chris engman's immersive architectural landscapes explore perception and illusion

‘prospect and refuge’, an ongoing series of work by photographer chris engman, investigates the medium of photography through complicated juxtapositions. this body of work explores the relationship between illusion and materiality, nature and the man-made universe, moment and memory. through engman’s documentation and detailed re-creation, the artist asks the viewer to consider how we understand photographs and how we experience the world.

chris engman containment
all images by tony walsh



engman works with photographs as objects in physical space, scaling them to fit into the confines of a constructed environment. a mass of photographic images is meticulously transferred to the material surfaces of a space — covering the walls, ceiling, floor, and everything in between — then photographed from one single vantage point. the result is a ‘straight’ photograph of a manipulated existence — a fabricated reality that feels incredibly real. the logic of the two spaces overlaps, sometimes agreeing and sometimes colliding. a photograph, here and by analogy, tries and fails to be a container for moments and places.

chris engman containment



‘containment,’ a new site-specific work created for the fotofocus biennial in cincinnati, gives viewers a rare glimpse into engman’s manufactured ‘architectural landscapes.’ this constructed environment fuses the tangible and surreal, playing with preconceived notions and expectations about time, space, memory, and images as truth-telling mediums. this project exploring engman’s prospect and refuge series features two parts: containment, an installation in the street level gallery, and a suite of photographs in the main gallery opening in conjunction with the exhibition wide angle: photography out of bounds.

chris engman containment

chris engman containment

chris engman containment



project info:


title: containment

location: alice f. and harris k. weston art gallery, cincinnati

date: august 31, 2018–november 18, 2018

curators: carissa barnard, fotofocus deputy director

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