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Robert Cumming in Conversation with Sarah Bay Williams (Video)

On October 1, as part of the Aperture Magazine Live series, photographer Robert Cumming was joined in conversation by writer and curator Sarah Bay Williams on the subject of humor, absurdity, and perceptual play in Cumming’s 1970s photography. Currently working on a book about Cumming’s photography and art, Williams wrote on the subject for the “Curiosity”-themed Summer 2013 issue of Aperture magazine.

Cumming shared a slideshow of his 1970s work that played with visual perception. He would present a photograph followed by a second photograph of the same scene—but with a wider frame that revealed the behind-the-scenes deception of the previous image. These images showcased Cumming’s ability to manipulate the physical world and trick the eye into believing his fantastic environments were reality.

With the ability to illuminate the absurd through photography, Cumming kept his audience amused and intrigued. In creating these images, Cumming found photography to be the perfect medium through which to exercise his fascination with and the tension between reality and fiction, and between the commonplace and the fantasy.

View “Robert Cumming in Conversation with Sarah Bay Williams, Part 2” on Vimeo.

Aperture magazine issue #211 is now available.