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photo-eye Conversations | Edward Bateman & Anne Kelly

photo-eye Gallery photo-eye Conversations | Edward Bateman and Anne Kelly photo-eye Gallery
Photographer Edward Batman's most recent work is concerned with the idea that the essence of life is fleeting, and indeed the images from his series Reversing Photosynthesis — new this week to the Photographers Showcase — are imbued with a sense of impermanence.

Edward Bateman, Leaf No. 38c2, 2017, archival pigment print, edition of 7, $700

Photographer Edward Batman's most recent work is concerned with the idea that the essence of life is fleeting. And indeed, the images from his series Reversing Photosynthesis — new this week to the Photographer's Showcase — are imbued with a sense of impermanence. 

For nearly two decades, Bateman has used digital photographic processes to construe three-dimensional modeled objects that have never had a physical existence outside the computer to begin with. In a new artistic direction for him — inspired by his own aging process and a sense of mortality — Bateman has now sought to tame light, photography's basic ingredient, without the use of technology or camera equipment. 

Bateman places leaves directly on unexposed photographic paper, then keeps them in total darkness for days or even months to document their decay. By releasing their captured sunlight, as if undoing photosynthesis photographically, they leave exposed their beautiful fragility on rag paper. Inherently, Reversing Photosynthesis places a focus in the transience of life — perhaps a subtle reminder that the nature of everything is bound to change, pass, or come to an end. photo-eye is excited to welcome Edward Bateman to the Photographer's Showcase!


» View Work by Edward Bateman


Recently, as part of our new video series, photo-eye Conversations, photo-eye Gallery Director Anne Kelly asked Bateman about his photographic practice and the process of creating Reversing Photosynthesis among other recent bodies of work. Watch this inspiring conversation below or on Vimeo

Artist Bio:
Edward Bateman is an artist and professor at the University of Utah. Through constructed and often anachronistic imagery, he creates alleged historical artifacts that examine our belief in the photograph as a reliable witness. In 2009, Nazraeli Press released a signed and numbered book of his work titled Mechanical Brides of the Uncanny, that explores 19th-century automatons as a metaphor for the camera, stating: "For the first time in human existence, objects of our own creation were looking back at us.” Bateman and his work have been included in the third edition of "Seizing the Light: A Social and Aesthetic History of Photography" by Robert Hirsch. His work has been shown internationally in over twenty-eight countries and is included in the collections of The Victoria and Albert Museum, The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and Getty Research among others.

Anne Kelly, Gallery Director at photo-eye (photo credit: Dave Hyams) & portrait of Edward Bateman (photo credit: Michael Marcinek)

Preview of forthcoming series mentioned in conversation

» Order Edward Bateman's One Picture Book #58 

Limited quantities available

Books mentioned in the interview and available for purchase at photo-eye Bookstore:

Expired Paper
Alison Rossiter
Cat# DS978    ISBN-13: 978-1942185338 

David Jiménez

Joan Fontcuberta
Cat# DS599S  (978-8416248353) 

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For more information, and to purchase prints, please contact Gallery Staff at
505-988-5152 x202 or