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The final work visitors find while visiting Sfeir-Semler gallery these days, a 2017 piece called "Archaeology," is based on a ruined photographic negative. Taken early in the 20th century by Antranick Anouchian (1908-1991), the lost photo captured an athletic male figure, posing one foot atop a ball.To make "Archaeology," the artist enlarged the image many times, so that the plate's greatly obscured figure is nearly life-sized."The Third Window," Zaatari's solo at Sfeir-Semler, doesn't betray much nostalgia or sentimentality, yet it is profoundly invested in the historical materiality of photography.After describing how he found the negative at the basis of "Archaeology," he shared a more involved story of how the work was made.While based on damaged film negatives "Against Photography," 2017, is the least "figurative" piece in this show.For "The Third Window," "I decided to focus on my favorite pieces [from which] you really learn from phenomena that happened to photographs."The Third Window" is interested in the history of photos as objects liberating the works from the need to relate human history. It relieves photos of their figurative obligations.One piece in The Third Window captures scenes from archaeology, as the term is conventionally understood. "An Extraordinary Event," 2017, comprises a series of eight archival photos from an Ottoman excavation. In each, the subject of the photo has been altered, appearing to glow.
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