Jeffrey Silverthorne – ‘Crossing Times’

Jefferey Silverthorne, Impersonators #1, 1992

From October 27 until November 22 2010
Galerija Photon – Centre for Contemporary Photography Ljubljana

What’s a photograph? A depiction, usually – sometimes it’s a manipulation or an illusion. The best ones, for me, are transporters, peeks, for an instant, at something never seen in the way that it is seen. Or maybe seen, but we don’t realize we see it. Art is that. Thousands of artists arranged colors and a few lines. But there is only one Mondrian, and we say, “Hot damn, wow”. No, Silverthorne is not Mondrian. But it is not silly to mention the two together, if only because of the hot-damn factor, the “I wish I have done that” quality, the incidental that “sits” just right.

Silverthorne, of course, is working with a subject, just as Mondrian was. Silverthorne’s subjects seems to be us, the looker. (Mondrian’s is how the hell can you balance an egg on the back of a spoon on a moving train.) What is us? I suppose the “us” that Silverthorne is working with is our prejudices, our hang ups, our last, our memories, our indignation, our fears, curiosity, desires, sympathy, anger, pleasure,…Looking at the photographs, I don’t see much of Silverthorne – he’s the dead guy on the bed – though we do see a lot of him. No, I think as subject, Silverthorne is incidental – it really is “us” that he is working with.

These small images of an instant are masterpieces. Perhaps the best work that Silverthorne has done. I want to keep looking at them. They are transporters.

Jon Hendricks