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Daniel Shea Blisner, IL 14.11.14–15.03.15

Daniel Shea, Blisner, IL


Webber Gallery are delighted to announce the first UK solo exhibition from New York based photographer Daniel Shea. The exhibition will feature works from his much anticipated new monograph Blisner, IL published by Fourteen-Nineteen and follows on from Blisner, Ill. previously released in 2012.

The Blisner projects provide an account of what happened in and what remains of a single Rust Belt town during the process of deindustrialisation. The first book, Blisner Ill., begins with an early history of the discovery of bituminous coal in Southern Illinois, and moves through the last century of mine disasters and factory closures, ending with the fallout of deindustrialisation. Blisner represents a narrative that is both distantly dystopic and familiar to discourses on American industry and Main Street. The Blisner that exists today provides the surface that renders these histories photographically possible.

The follow up project, Blisner, IL, serves as a pseudo-sequel to Blisner, Ill., the change in post-code abbreviations significant in their repsective points on the chronology of the town. This new work frames its predecessor, Blisner, Ill., as a historical document from which to draw information at the present day site. It’s main focus is that of mid-sized cities in Southern Illinois and how they attempt to maintain the veneer of their once industrially-prosperous moment. The book establishes themes found in the regional picture book formula of understanding place through its history, industry and culture, often synonmyous terms.

Daniel Shea is an artist based in New York City working with photography and sculpture. He has been a resident artist at Light Work (Syracuse) and Columbia College Chicago’s Digital Artist-In-Residence program, where he published his first book. His second book, Blisner, IL, was published in London this year. He has recently exhibited work at the Museum of Contemporary Photography and is represented in the US by Andrew Rafacz Gallery. His editorial and commissioned work is represented through Webber Represents and has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Fader, Numero, and Fantastic Man, among others.