‘Mercator Projections’ Opens at Houghton House Gallery – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

‘Mercator Projections’ Opens at Houghton House Gallery

Hobart and William Smith present an exhibit of pinhole-camera photographs

(January 26, 2004) GENEVA, N.Y.– The Hobart and William Smith Colleges Department of Art announces the opening of “Mercator Projections,” a collection of pinhole photographs by C. Stephen Eckel, adjunct art instructor at the Colleges. An opening reception will be held 7-9 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 30, at the Houghton House Gallery, 1 Kings Lane, on the HWS campus. The exhibit will run through Feb. 20.

“Mercator Projections” is the continuation of an ongoing investigation into photographic visual space. Eckel uses a home-built tubular camera with four pinholes placed at cardinal points on the same latitude, and 8″ x 10″ film curved around a smaller tube placed in the center. The combination of the pinholes' wide angle and the film's curvature produces a seamless image of the four separate exposures that are made.

“By placing the camera at various points around the subject, the subject becomes the central point of the photograph rather than just the focal point,” says Eckel. “Through the execution of the photograph, the subject is stretched and remolded into a new form by juxtaposing points of view that normally wouldn't be next to each other. Then, by presenting these four perspectives within one two-dimensional image, the flattened subject is expanded and more thoroughly represented.”

Eckel lives in Rochester, N.Y., with his wife and son. He received a B.A. from Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass., and an M.F.A. from the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester. He specializes in 19th-century processes, book-making and, of course, pinhole photography.

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