James Welling - Publications - Regen Projects

James Welling: Choreograph


Choreograph extends James Welling’s iconic experiments with photography and color into the realm of dance, landscape, and architecture, yielding visually electrifying imagery. 


To create Choreograph, Welling photographed dancers performing in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and Los Angeles, ultimately combining these images with landscapes and architecture. In a multichannel hack, Welling attains “pathological color”—the purposeful misuse of imaging technologies as a way to short-circuit conventions of photographic representation. Welling notes: “To my surprise, the buildings and landscapes that I used often seem to function like theatrical stages for the dancers. By choosing to use ‘choreograph,’ drawing with dance, as a noun, I am noting its similarity to ‘photograph,’ drawing with light.”


Lisa Hostetler, curator of photographs at the George Eastman Museum, contributes an essay that puts this body of work into the context of James Welling’s larger output, asserting that Choreograph functions as an antidote to modernistic ideas about photography, while also providing a compelling summation of Welling’s prior practice. This volume, printed in the United States with an extended ink range that captures the work’s wild array of vibrant colors, accompanies an exhibition of the same name at the George Eastman Museum, Rochester, New York, scheduled to open in July 2020.


Published by Aperture