Artwork Detail

48 Views of Loch Ness
American, b. 1962
48 color photographs
University purchase, Bixby Fund, 2004
WU 2004.0004
Working in a variety of mediums, Spencer Finch employs atmospheric effects and ephemeral notions, such as time and movement, to examine the complexity with which we perceive the outside world. In this series of photographs, taken over the course of three days at Loch Ness in Scotland, Finch draws on the myth of the Loch Ness monster to invert the status of photography as a medium that conveys empirical truths. In the photographs, the topographical variations of the landscape take on the shape of the monster, often depicted as a series of humps partially submerged in the water, but close examination turns up only variations of the play of light and color on the water and the surrounding landscape. Finch’s images are ambiguous as they provide no resolution to the legend; rather, they seem to comment on the ever-present human need to romanticize and believe in a creature whose existence can neither be affirmed nor refuted through modern technology. [Permanent collection label, 2014]