Montana State University presents a lecture by renowned photographer Thomas Joshua Cooper at the Museum of the Rockies at 7 p.m., Monday, Feb. 22. Admission is free but space is limited.
Working solely with an 1898 Agfa field camera, Thomas Joshua Cooper has established himself as one of the foremost photographers of our time and was the recipient of the 2009 Guggenheim Fellowship. He photographs only outdoors, but his pictures are far from nature “shots.” They are images he makes or finds, each unique, with each site captured in a single exposure, and then rendered as a selenium-toned silver gelatin print.
He is perhaps best known for his Atlas Project. Inspired by reading about Magellan’s circumnavigation of the world in the 16th century and the lasting impact that has had on world history, Cooper set out about 20 years ago to “chart” the Atlantic Basin, capturing points of land he had picked out on a map. He has published the photos from each segment of his photographic journey, from South Africa to Scandinavia (point of no return, 2004), along the eastern coast of South America (Ojo de Agua, 2006), in the Arctic and Antarctic (true, 2009), and, during his Guggenheim Fellowship term, up the eastern and Gulf coasts of North America, exploring the Rio Grande, Mississippi River and Hudson’s Bay as well. Once this final section is completed, Cooper will collect these parts into a single work titled “An Atlas of Emptiness and Extremity.”