Quality Photo Lab, 1300 Cahuenga Blvd., Los AngelesEnlarge image

Quality Photo Lab, 1300 Cahuenga Blvd., Los Angeles, 2008

Scott McFarland
Canadian, 1975
ink jet print framed
152 x 278.8 cm; image: 121.1 x 248 cm
Purchased 2008
Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography (no. 2008.31)
Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, Ottawa

Scott McFarland uses a large-format camera and then scans the negatives to create his photographs. The work can be a digital composite of dozens of shots, sometimes made at different times of the day to exploit the effects of varying light qualities. Because the image is not overworked to represent a totally false or fantastical representation, the final photograph maintains its credibility as a type of document. Yet there is often an odd artificiality to the depiction, as if reality has been pushed, pulled, skewed, and compacted in curious ways. As much as this work represents the intermingling of art and document, it also references the photographic medium itself, recalling the chemicals and technical apparatus used to produce photographs. The building's signage links these activities to McFarland's image-making process, yet the fact that the lab is abandoned indicates how much the economies of photography have changed.




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