Scatter and Heap Exhibition
Paho Mann is the second artist to exhibit in the Scatter and Heap Exhibition showing at the Sheppard Fine Art Gallery. He lived in New Mexico most of his life but, he is now currently living and working out of Dallas Texas at the University of North Texas. He received his BFA from the University of New Mexico and his MFA from the Arizona State University.
He originally started working in photography cataloging various medicine cabinets from the 1950's. Paho mainly used his friends and families homes to photograph these and didn't expand out. In these experiments and cataloging, he was looking for a the differences and similarities between household items and the people who had them. Within this small field of collections he found that most people were consuming the same sorts of items. However, one thing he noted was the cleanliness of the cabinets and the lack of items they didn't wish anyone else to see, like actual medication. He felt there was a complete lack of personal individuality in these photos as everything had been hand selected as if for a still-life presentation, ready for viewing at anytime by anyone.
Paho then decided to look into the depths of the 'junk drawer'. In this he felt he would find a more random sort of collection in this catch all drawer, and show more of an individual presence of the householders. He selected his friends and family once again and pulled out the drawer and placed it on a black background and snapped the photos. Because this was a small view of a large world he wanted to expand out and continue his experiment of similarities and differences among consumer collecting, and moved out one degree of separation and contacted friends of friends. He then placed an ad into Craigs List. Presenting himself as a photographer who wanted to collect images of random kitchens, he hoped that this would keep them from organizing their drawers and throwing out anything he was hoping to catalog. Continuing to work this way he introduced himself to the area's he moved into as an artist and collected several years worth of these images.
Re-inhabited Circle K's were next on his agenda. These buildings back in the 1950's were somewhat the 'Starbucks' of their day and were located on almost every street corner. Paho felt it would be interesting to catalog the locations of all of these buildings in each city he came through. Using the same process of framing each building in the same exact location and photographing it. These were then collected and placed in a mapping program that listed buildings that were destroyed, buildings that were re-inhabited, and others that were photographed and to be photographed.
This process prepared him to catalog everything in his household. He had always been concerned with what materials he and his partner were bringing in and consuming as a member of society and this allowed him to see how many things and sometimes how many of one thing he actually had. This concern and process led up to a collaboration with the City of Phoenix which commissioned photographed images of recyclable products that came in to a plant to be recycled. This was to raise awareness of material waste and recycling as well as to create a large body of work.
Paho works very straight forward and linear. His photographs are tight, clean and simple and the collage of these pieces, are also just as orderly. By seeing his 'Sort' website one can see how detailed and meticulous he is at his work and his dedication to see the end result. He is very interested in data and collecting, to find all the information one can gather and place that information into a data base that can be updated and maintained to add more and more information. Not only are they individual projects but also something that many can become involved with, in adding to or simply browsing through. He stated that his work has made him more thoughtful about what he buys and brings home and that he hoped it would effect others in a similar fashion. He also found that though his travels and exploring that we are more similar across the board than we are all different in what we consume as householders.
Would he consider doing a larger web based project where others could submit images/objects as well?
Will he continue to add to his Sort project and document things from his household in the passing years?