NEW YORK, NY.- You An Orchestra You A Bomb
is the third monograph by photographer Cig Harvey. Part memoir, part poem and part love letter, this new book explores Harveys relationship with life through text and photography, combined to create an ode to the fragility and beauty of the present moment. The publication of this new book coincides with exhibitions of the work at Robert Mann Gallery, New York and Robert Klein Gallery.
Each photograph in the book is a self-contained vignette, collectively suggesting a narrative through recurring themes and symbols. The use of text, both an introductory stream of memory and interspersed throughout the book, anchor the images in Harveys own personal experience, and yet each image tugs on the viewers own memory, suggesting a place they also knew. The symbols birds, teeth, windows, water and snow - used throughout Harveys work, elevate the mundane and suggest a complex jigsaw to be pieced together.
Harvey has always experienced the world viscerally but now a new heightened sense of awareness runs through her work. The joy in Harveys signature use of colour is tempered and balanced by a sense of loss at her inability, and the cameras inability, to halt and capture time. This is emphasised by the subjects of Harveys photographs who are usually partially concealed, whether it be through careful cropping, distance or her use of lighting. A girl through a rainy car window, a child behind a curtain, a man silhouetted by a bonfire, the legs of a teenage girl swimming out of view these figures are vanishing just beyond reach.
Now dissect our bodies, pull out heart, shit, and eyes, and see each one of us is each other, we are orchestras, we are bombs. We are houses of cooking smells, arms around us and two aspirin. We are a normal pap smear, the first violets and meeting the bus from school. We are a Tuesday where nothing really happens. We are first cups of morning coffee, hand-printed welcome-home signs and community. We are paying attention. We are only this moment, the length of a photograph. Cig Harvey
Cig Harveys work has been the subject of numerous international solo exhibitions and is included in permanent collections of major museums including The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the International Museum of Photography, George Eastman House, Rochester, NY. She has been a nominee for John Gutmann fellowship and the Santa Fe Prize, and a finalist for the BMW Prize at Paris Photo and for the Prix Virginia, an international photography prize for women. Her two previous monographs, You Look At Me Like An Emergency (2012) and Gardening At Night (2015) both sold out rapidly. The series, You Look At Me Like An Emergency, was first exhibited at The Stenersen Museum, Oslo, Norway. Harveys devotion to visual storytelling has led to innovative international campaigns and features with New York Magazine, Harpers Bazaar Japan, Kate Spade, and Bloomingdales amongst others. She is represented by Robert Mann Gallery, New York; Kopeikin Gallery, Los Angeles, and Beetles + Huxley Gallery, London, UK.