Here’s a quick Q&A with longtime Nippertown photographer William Jaeger, whose work is currently on exhibit at the Albany Institute of History & Art in the group show, “Summer Exposure: Photographic Works”.
Q: WHAT IS YOUR CONNECTION TO OR FAVORITE CHARACTERISTIC OF THE HUDSON VALLEY?
A: The river itself, and the tendrils that come from it (and to it), are steeped in history and lore. Around us are the vestiges of a lot of this, like the huge Burden ironworks in Troy which is just some shards in the ground and some artifactual proof.
The people who live here are a product of all of this, and the Hudson and its influence
becomes the culture of the land, including the Erie Canal (I’m working on a photographic
response to Clinton’s Ditch for the bicentennial) and the little river towns I love (like beautiful Coxsackie, maligned and still really interesting). Even the Contemporary Artists Center in South Troy is the direct descendant of all of this, occupying the Burden family church chapel with residency and exhibition spaces. Full circle, or full spiral.
Q: WHERE DO YOU DRAW YOUR INSPIRATION FOR YOUR PHOTOGRAPHS?
A: My photographs are part visual (purely visual), and part a reaction to reality (the land, the object in the land, the effects of people, and people). Visual inspirations: Jack Pollock, Georges Braque. Contextual inspirations: Eugene Atget, Walker Evans. Yeah, mid-20th Century chaps. Not on purpose.
Q: WHAT PROJECTS ARE YOU WORKING ON NOW/PLAN TO WORK ON IN THE FUTURE?
A: I have a combination of things in the works. One is a series about series and typologies (groups of pictures related by visually similar content). Another is a group of highly colorful works including text. A third is a series of photographs with narrative text that implies a fictional fact. All require photography, but emphasize relationships – connections between photos and ideas, and photos and photos.
William Jaeger’s photographs are currently on exhibit at the Albany Institute of History & Art in the group show “Summer Exposure: Photographic Works” also featuring photographic artwork by Martin Benjamin, Carolyn Marks Blackwood, Tom Fels and Dana Hoey. The exhibit remains on view through Sunday, September 7.