Abelardo Morell (2000-11-17)

Abelardo Morell
Practice: Photography
Date of Lecture: 2000-11-17


Abelardo Morell has been exploring the tie between reality and illusion since the 1980s. This common thread of reality and illusion has been the thematic link in many of Morell’s series. Through the transformative qualities of the camera and imagination, Morell explores the workings of daily life. He approaches familiar domestic objects and interiors philosophically, seeking a more complete understanding by turning the real upside down (literally, on occasion). Spurred by the act of watching his young son interact with the world, he became interested in imagining what a child’s perspective would be on the wonders of domestic life. Morell would then change his perspective of the physical world by changing the angle or vantage point that we maintain.

“His imagery presents once familiar objects from absurd vantage points and in exaggerated scale, reminding us that there is not one neatly fixed version of reality, nor is there one definitive vantage point from which to best understand it.” – Diana Gaston, Curator, Museum of Photographic Arts.

Morell_Abelardo_w01Camera Obscura Image of Manhattan View Looking West in Empty Room, 1996

But Morell is perhaps best known for is his series of camera obscura images. He creates room-sized camera obscuras in which he places his 4×5 view camera. Over the course of the long exposure required to realize each image (commonly eight hours or more), he produces photographs of the outside world projected upside down, transparently overlaying everything in the space. In 1998 Morell illustrated the new edition of Lewis Carroll’s, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, with his photographs. Born in Cuba, Morell came to New York City with his family at the age of fourteen. He received his MFA from Yale University and Doctor of Fine Arts from Bowdoin College. Morell is currently a professor of photography at the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston.

Morell_Abelardo_p01Photo by: Amee King

Additional Links: http://www.abelardomorell.net/