The premise of One Hour Photo is simple: project a photograph for one hour, then ensure that it will never be seen again.
The experience of One Hour Photo is also, on the surface, simple, almost programmatic: project one work per hour, each by a different artist, for the duration of the exhibition; provide a simple, meditative space for viewers; finally, document the exhibition on this web site with release forms signed by the artists.
From this simple concept, a range of themes emerge, some of which we present below, many of which we leave to the viewer to discover and experience.
In One Hour Photo, photography’s original impulse to capture a moment, to freeze and frame it, is turned outward, to the experience of viewing itself. The hour is the exposure, the moment that is captured in the frame of a temporary, provisional observation. Each work ceases to be a photograph: it erases its medium, its status as art object, as it becomes a pure moment of perception to be experienced, framed, and captured by the viewer. In this sense, the viewer becomes the camera, recording the moment on the unreliable format of memory. The viewer also becomes photography itself, as it feels its familiar constructs slip away: permanence, reproduction, ownership, control.
One Hour Photo is also a collective exercise in giving up control, of letting go. The release forms signed by the artists and curators serve as literal testament to this release.
A project by Adam Good, Chajana denHarder, and Chandi Kelley.