Casemore Kirkeby is pleased to present Bright Black World, an exhibition of new work by Todd Hido exploring the dark topography of the Northern European landscape, highlighting Hido’s first significant foray extensively photographing territory outside of the United States, chronicling a decidedly new psychological geography and environmental concern. A new publication by Nazraeli Press accompanies the exhibition of the same title and will be available through Casemore Kirkeby.
For nearly three decades, Hido has crafted narratives through loose and mysterious suburban scenes, desolate landscapes, and stylized portraits. He has traversed North America capturing places that feel at once familiar and unknown; welcoming and unsettling. Nordic mythology, specifically the idea of Fimbulwinter, which literally translates to ‘the great winter’, influenced many of Hido’s new images, which provide form for this notion of an apocalyptic, never-ending tundra.
The narrative shift from the personal to the political-environmental is palpable in Hido’s new work. Iceland, formed by lava fields, mountains, and glaciers, transports viewers to a seemingly other world — a natural world that is on the precipice of ruin. This world is imbued with hidden memories and mythologies that serve as cautionary tales – volcanic eruptions, clairvoyant predictions – Old Norse lore warning of future natural disasters. Images of lifeless roads approaching horizons evoke a sense of abandonment where once (perhaps) thriving communities are reduced to skidding tire tracks in drifting snow over a black sand beach, and formerly lush forests are dwindled to twisted embers.
Todd Hido’s photographs have been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, and most recently at the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Le Locle, Switzerland. Other major institutions that have exhibited Hido’s work include the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; Miami Art Museum, Florida; Netherland Architecture Institute, Rotterdam; Palazzo Ducale, Genova, Italy; Samsung Museum of Modern Art in Korea; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Hido currently lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area. Bright Black World, the artist’s seventh publication to date, was released by Nazraeli Press in the fall of 2018.