Ground Control to Major Tom….


From time to time I run across other artist/photographers that really catch my eye.  Their work calls to me, and I can see something from my own vision in what they have produced.  It is exciting to look upon work by someone else and wish that I would have, or could have made it.  It is these discoveries that serve as motivation to keep up the effort on my own work when it seems that everything else in life wants to pull me away from it.

A few months ago while at Irvine Contemporary in Washington D.C. I was reintroduced to the work of Nicholas Kahn and Richard Selesnick.  I had seen some of their work before, but for some reason it did not capture my attention enough to explore it at the time.  I would say that the time was just not right.  While traveling my path through life I have discovered that there are times when we are more receptive to people, ideas, and places that normally would never catch ones attention.  My visit to Irvine Contemporary was the right time to rediscover Kahn and Selesnick, and they are now feeding my imagination which is the engine of my existence.

What I saw that really caught my gaze was the Apollo Prophecies which was a four year project that tells the plight of a lost Edwardian English expedition to the Moon.  This was done with both fictitious written accounts and massive panoramic images.  The full project includes diagrams, and great portraits of the explorers which really amazed me (see above).  I like the fact that they look like wet plate portraits.   As a child I was fascinated with the thought of space exploration, and the Prophecies transport me back to the cardboard spaceship that orbited the family living room so many times.

The Kahn/Selesnick website says the following a bout Nicholas and Richard:

Nicholas Kahn lives in a converted white wooden Dutch church overlooking the Hudson River in a small town two hours north of NYC (the town makes it money from its two large prisons for enemies of the Empire State and is named after the Algonquin word for the sad sound of a goose honking). Richard Selesnick lives (with his wife and child and border collie) in a sweet neighborhood of well-gardened townhouses in Brooklyn built atop a much-maligned former bog. They do not employ armies of underpaid assistants, they instead improvise or build everything themselves. They also rely on an army of kind friends and relatives for their photographic models as well as for very frequent gifts of peculiar objects that often infiltrate their projects. They are currently attempting to find a lost iceberg city last seen off of Lubeck in 1923 and shooting an Expedition to Mars for NASA.

Sounds like some great work on the horizon from these two great artists.  Take a look at their site and see some work from the Apollo Prophecies and the other projects that they have completed over the years.

Aperture has limited edition books of Kahn/Selesnick’s City of Salt and Scotlandfuturebog projects.

** The images in this post are by Kahn/Selesnick and linked to from their site **


~ by Phil Nesmith on August 21, 2007.

One Response to “Ground Control to Major Tom….”

  1. […] Kahn & Selesnick, Eisbergfreistadt New photographs and installations October 27 to December […]

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