Tao produced the One. The One produced the two. The two produced the three. And the three produced The Ten Thousand Things.
AC [Chapel] presents Myriad – The Ten Thousand Things by Bryan Whitney. Inspired by the overwhelming abundance of “things” in the world and the equally daunting number of images that represent them, the work is both an appreciation and exorcism of the myriad of things seen and photographed by Whitney over the past few years. Although the word “myriad” is used to describe an enumerable number and variety, it also literally refers to the number 10,000. In the ancient Chinese philosophy of Tao Te Ching, “The Ten Thousand Things” describes all the possible objects that arise in the world and teaches the “right way” of considering them. For Whitney, this profound and poetic number is the gateway to infinity, symbolic of a point at which we are first overwhelmed by abundance.
Whitney’s images are drawn from digital snapshots taken with various cameras including an iPhone and an Elph camera. Like most people’s snapshot collection, his multitude of disparate images range from the beautiful to the mundane, the momentary to the historic — each transformed into memory and pixels. Collected into a single digital print along an entire wall, this collection of images begins to exist simultaneously as a cohesive entity.
Opposite and juxtaposed to the myriad composition is a larger-than-life sized figure, based on the form of a reclining Buddha. Effigies to Buddha are often found in relatively small spaces, exaggerating further the effect of their scale and significance on the viewer. Similarly emphasized in the narrow confines of the AC [Chapel], the monumentality of Whitney’s figure conveys a singularity and importance relative to the myriad on the opposite wall.
The compilation of snapshots and the reclining figure are printed on a mirror-like surface that reflects both the adjacent print and the viewer. Included in this apologue is a transparent image of half of an X-rayed flower placed on the AC [Chapel] window. Utilizing natural light, the completed image of the blossom is created by its reflection in the mirrored print surface.
About the Artist
Bryan Whitney has a BA in Psychology of Art from the University of Michigan and an MFA in Photography from the Tyler School of Art (Philadelphia). He has exhibited at the Vanderbilt Conservatory at Dowling College (Oakdale, NY), Montblanc building (New York), Power Center (Ann Arbor, MI), the Anthony Giordano Gallery (New York) and Gallery Made (Paris). Whitney has also been an instructor at the Mason Gross School of the Arts (New Brunswick, NJ) and is currently an artist-in-residence at the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts (New York).
Image courtesy the artist.