April Gertler
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if only

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16 days in san francisco
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they are what they seem.


if only, work-in-progress
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Using the tool of photography I am interested in examining the borders between reality and fiction. I often photograph real-life situations that pose questions regarding the whereabouts of location and authenticity. With my series If Only, this is also the case.

If Only has been and continues to be an examination of the way birds are represented within the man-made and constructed ‘organic’ worlds of the natural history museum. I am concerned with how the fabricated environments of the diorama are viewed as ‘still’ moments of a bird’s life while in their ‘natural’ habitat.

Invariably, the viewer connects with the animal and their habitat before realizing the fabrication of their environment. As a result, I am curious about the way stories and narratives tend to form around the images when the “truth” of their origins is not the first thing the viewer is aware of. The photographs attempt to hold onto the integrity of the animal’s original life and their (constructed) habitat by not referencing the structure of the diorama itself, yet at the same time there is an impossibility to each image that fictionalizes the images themselves.

french translation
german translation

all images © 2006 april gertler