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Stephanie Bursese
Changing the Tense
November 6-29, 2015

Changing the Tense is an installation that uses architectural intrusions and photography to experiment with how your body moves through space. The experiment begins as you enter the gallery, where you are confronted with an obstacle. This intrusion modifies how you would normally navigate the space, and asks you to choose to continue or turn back. The work exists largely in this decision, choosing to advance through a barrier, affecting your perception and judgment.

Just beyond this material threshold is a second space containing photographs of building materials, details within urban landscapes, walls and other modifications to city architecture that speak to the moment you just experienced. This more interior, or internal space is sharply separate from the rest of the gallery. Not only does this draw attention to how your body has shifted in physical space, it also suggests that the shift is psychological and that the images you are seeing illustrate that shift in perception.

The title Changing the Tense refers to a phrase artist Christopher Williams uses to explain how his relationship to a photograph, and the spectators, shifts from what was (the past tense of all photographs) to what is (the photographs you are looking at in the exhibition) when you enter the gallery space.

The selection of photographs in the exhibition draws from Belt and Brace, a new body of work containing a series of color photographs conceived in a book that has been published in conjunction with this exhibition.

Stephanie Bursese (b.1980) makes work that investigates photography’s role in limiting perspective; by using site-specific installations, book forms, and printed images she creates loops of meaning that create both spatial and psychological spaces. Her work has been shown in numerous galleries, museums, and publications nationally and internationally; she is represented in both private and public collections. She was selected for a residency at the Fabric Workshop and Museum in 2006 and was awarded a project grant from the Meadowlands Commission in New Jersey in 2009. In 2013 she self-published her first book of photographs Razor Thin Rock Hard and is has just finished her second book, Belt and Brace. She is on the editorial staff of the Nicola Midnight St. Claire, a publication devoted to contemporary art and criticism and holds a staff position at The Artblog, a Philadelphia based art organization. Bursese earned a B.F.A from the University of Florida and her M.F.A. from Syracuse University and is part of the the Photography Department at Haverford College. She is an artist member at Vox Populi in Philadelphia where she lives and works.