Fragments of a celestial abattoir
Frank Rodick, 2004


Katherine Ware


Katherine Ware is Curator of Photography at the New Mexico Museum of Art and has served as Curator of Photographs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Assistant Curator in the Department of Photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum.

In 2006 she selected Frank Rodick's work for the FotoFest biennial in Houston. This is her curatorial statement.

This selection of Frank Rodick’s work from the series Arena delves into the gripping and mysterious realm of human emotion. As people, our lives are necessarily rooted in chemistry as we experience the world with our bodies; but the feelings evoked by these corporeal experiences are far more difficult to grasp. Fear, laughter, passion, love – all are beyond explaining and yet are ordinary experiences shared by us all.

As familiar as they are, these primal responses are highly complex and not mutually distinct. Using blurred, truncated views of the human form, Rodick taps into the powerful ambiguities of pleasure and pain in his images, forcing us to examine our untidy interiors. Inside each of us, he suggests, is a heart of darkness, a core that isn’t rational, civilized, or predictable. Rodick’s images bring us into direct confrontation with that physiological self which is, for many, frightening and forbidden -- yet so fascinating it compels our gaze.

Using multiple imagery and blurring, Rodick emulates the non-linear and sometimes hallucinogenic nature of human sensation. His disjunctive image sequencing also echoes the transitory, layered quality of our emotions. Reinforcing this effect are the titles of his pieces, which, instead of offering clarity, add a further dimension of ambiguity. In this body of work, Rodick has boldly tackled with his camera a subject both fleeting and inchoate, with haunting results. Ultimately each viewer is left alone with an intensity of experience he must interpret for himself.”

Below: details from Fragments of a celestial abattoir, Frank Rodick, 2004