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Filmmaker Nathan Peracciny releases new doc on Buffalo photographer Marshall Scheuttle

Local filmmaker Nate Peracciny has released a new short documentary about photographer Marshall Schuettle, whose work was featured in a solo exhibition in CEPA Gallery last summer.

In the film, which features many photographs from Schuettle's "Borderland" series, the artist talks about his inspiration and his process.

"When I finish a series, I want it to be like a damn good poem," Schuettle told Peracciny. "I want every line in that thing to be its own little world."

Here's the final result, worth more than one watch:

My review of Scheuttle's CEPA show is after the jump.

--Colin Dabkowski

"Borderland," CEPA Gallery. July, 2013.

Buffalo-based photographer Marshall Scheuttle has spent the last six years or so lugging his heavy, large-format camera across the United States. He’s captured scenes of domestic life and carnival culture, rural enclaves and suburban streetscapes. Technically, his work is gorgeous. The enormous, clear and vibrant prints of his photographs bring their subjects to life in ways a computer or television screen could not possibly duplicate.

The exhibition, which occupies all three floors of CEPA Gallery in the Market Arcade, is best approached as a visual poem, the meaning of which can be drawn out only with repeated viewings. Scheuttle was very specific about the positioning and layout of the images, though he intentionally kept them without labels or or wall text in order to prod the viewer to make his or her own connections.

What does a scene of a river baptism have to do with another of a pristine pool of water beneath a highway overpass? Why is a shot of animal heads lining the wall of an otherwise cookie-cutter office in the company of a portrait of a boy dressed up in Civil War garb in the midst of what looks to be a battle re-enactment? We can guess, and it’s fun to do.

What comes through from viewing the entire body of work is a kind of American optimism that seems to be carried over from an earlier time. You can see it in the facial expressions of many of Scheuttle’s subjects and in the places he’s chosen to photograph. In this trip across the United States, to rodeos, backyards, misty forests and carpeted living rooms, Scheuttle gives us a lyrical snapshot of our country at this exact moment. And, despite our mounting worries over issues domestic and foreign, this body of work seems to vaguely reassure us that things are going to be OK.

 

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