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Camera Obscura Image of Three Buildings in Room with Cactus, LaSalle Bank, Chicago

A work made of gelatin silver print.
© Abelardo Morell, courtesy of Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York.

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  • A work made of gelatin silver print.

Date:

2005

Artist:

Abelardo Morell
American, born Cuba 1948

About this artwork

The principle of the camera obscura (Latin for “dark room”) has been known since ancient Greek and Roman times: light passing through a small aperture in a dark chamber will project an upside-down, reversed image of the scene outside. The basis for all lens-based images, the camera obscura can be a room or a small, hand-held box—today’s camera.

Abelardo Morell used the camera obscura in his teaching, and in 1991 he began photographing the strange juxtapositions that occurred when the outside world was projected onto a domestic interior. He covered the windows of the chosen room with black plastic and poked a 3/8-inch hole in the material, placing a view camera inside to document the image that came through. The exposure took six to eight hours, eliminating all moving things from the scene and rendered objects that moved even slightly as a blur. In addition to making a number of choices to shape the relationship between interior and exterior—selecting the room, the view, and the position of the pinhole—Morell also often rearranges furniture and smaller objects in a given scene, so these seemingly natural photographs are in fact highly constructed.

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Photography

Artist

Abelardo Morell

Title

Camera Obscura Image of Three Buildings in Room with Cactus, LaSalle Bank, Chicago

Origin

United States

Date

Made 2005

Medium

Gelatin silver print

Dimensions

57.2 × 46.3 cm (image); 60.9 × 51 cm (paper)

Credit Line

Gift of Abelardo Morell

Reference Number

2005.126

Copyright

© Abelardo Morell, courtesy of Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York.

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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