“From the moment of its invention almost 175 years ago, photography has proven adept at depicting the photographable: the solid, the concrete, that which can be seen. A red ceiling, a beech tree at Fontainebleau, a young man in curlers, a box of ripe peaches—such things are the very stuff of photography, and the desire to hold on to them is the same impulse that led to the birth of the medium itself. But another tradition exists, a parallel history in which photographers and other artists have attempted to describe by photographic means that which is not so readily seen: thought, time, ghosts, god, dreams. The Unphotographable clothbound catalog published to accompany the exhibition is comprised of approximately 50 photographs by anonymous amateurs and artists as diverse as Diane Arbus, Robert Adams, Sophie Calle, Liz Deschenes, Kota Ezawa, Adam Fuss, Man Ray, Christian Marclay, Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Richard Misrach, Alfred Stieglitz, and Hiroshi Sugimoto.” – Fraenkel
Kenneth Baker of the SF Chronicle reviews many of the works on view in “The Unphotographable,” examining their teasing reassurance:
So “The Unphotographable,” which opens Thursday at the Fraenkel Gallery, brings a teasing sort of reassurance to us not yet resigned or indifferent to the dwindling of privacy. Teasing, because so many items in this “parallel history” turn out to affirm not photography’s limits, but those of our credulity and our curiosity, which change over time.