MSAC Individual Artist Award (IAA)2015
Artist StatementThe enclosed work explores the relationship between photographically rendered space and its felt presence. Central to this investigation is the study of visual language--i.e., the syntax and semantics that distinguish and differentiate representational images from the world which they inhabit, and the historic role visual media have played in shaping this relationship. These images exploit the ability of optically rendered images to reveal a world that is familiar and foreign, real and synthetic, concrete and imaginary, here and elsewhere, always now and forever past, simultaneously. They address the ambivalence we, as viewers, feel while negotiating photographic images--unsure of them as representations, oscillating between belief and disbelief, between what is perceived as “real” and imaginary. They present environments that are intended to be visually inhabited--much like sets. The absence felt within each isolates the viewer while simultaneously provoking them to imagine the space, beyond what is seen immediately. In relation, the viewer is placed at a threshold. The images themselves, through the use of cinematic devices, motion backward and forward, but reveal nothing of what exists beyond the visible field.
Christopher Saah is a contemporary artist whose work explores photographically rendered space. He currently teaches courses in Photography and New Media at the Maryland Institute College of Art and The George Washington University, having also taught at the Corcoran College of Art and Design, University of Maryland—Baltimore County, and St. Mary’s College of Maryland. As a photographer, graphic designer and new media developer, he has worked professionally for organizations such as The National Museum of American Art, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The American Film Institute, Ogilvy, and the Washington Project for the Arts. Currently living in Baltimore, MD, he was awarded a fellowship to participate in the Photographic and Electronic Media program at the Maryland Institute College of Art, where he received an MFA in 2006. Christopher has had solo exhibitions at the Flashpoint Gallery and the Constantine Grimaldis Gallery (where he is currently represented). Additionally he has participated in exhibitions nationally, including the Delaware Center for Contemporary Art, Baltimore Contemporary Museum, Scope Art Fair—New York, Anthology Film Archive, Texas Contemporary Art Fair, Washington Project for the Arts, palmbeach3, Maryland Federation of Art, Arlington Art Center, Curator’s Office, Maryland Art Place, Transformer Gallery, Museum of Contemporary Art—DC, Montpelier Cultural Arts Center, and Maryland Institute College of Art.