Imposing Order

Contemporary Photography and the Archive
September 2, 2006–January 2, 2007

The ability to catalogue objects and capture exacting details has aligned the photograph with the archive. This exhibition highlights contemporary critiques of the notion of the archive, presenting artworks that explore the documentary nature of photography as well as the human compulsion to create order. Some works in the exhibition employ the meticulous approach of the archivist, while others appropriate actual photographic archives. Drawn largely from SFMOMA’s collection, Imposing Order includes photographs by Richard Barnes, Eve Fowler, Doug Hall, Candida Höfer, Nigel Poor, Richard Ross, Ed Ruscha, Thomas Struth, Hiroshi Sugimoto, and Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel.

Nigel Poor; Month of June, from the series Found, 1998; collection SFMOMA; Accessions Committee Fund: gift of Barbara and Gerson Bakar, Shawn and Brook Byers, the Modern Art Council, Helen Hilton Raiser, and Helen and Charles Schwab; © Nigel Poor