It’s like Ansel Adams on crack. Cooper’s current exhibition, True reveals his latest photographs from the north and south poles. Shot with his19th-century Agfa camera, Cooper endured some of the harshest weather conditions in the world in areas that are inhabitable by man. His most helpful resources were a local guide and what some might call an extremist sensibility. He evaded capture in Senegal, drowning along the Antarctic Peninsula and freezing at the south pole. This exhibition includes work from some of his toughest expeditions.
Despite the treacherous conditions that Cooper met while photographing his subjects, his photographs express a sublime beauty and peacefulness. Yet there is a strong sense of desolation and loneliness. And despite their beauty, there is only so many that you can take in at once. It’s difficult to relate and to penetrate Cooper’s photos, it’s as if visitors are viewing them from behind a window — there’s something between viewer and photograph and a feeling that one should keep their distance. I certainly think it’s best to contemplate on or two and then walk away, the large body of work at the Haunch is a bit overwhelming, in my opinion.
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