May 4th – May 18, 2013

the wreck
In Black and White
photographs by Jim Rohrer

Wellfleet Public Library
55 West Main St.
Wellfleet, MA

Opening Reception: Sunday, May 5th, 3-5pm

I don’t know why I continue to make pictures in black and white… perhaps it’s an adverse reaction to today’s ubiquitous culture of perfectly-exposed-ultra-sharp-digital-images meant to be viewed on the electronic screens of various hand-held-Chinese-made devices. Perhaps it’s something about the essentials of my medium, photography, reduced to its basic components of shadow and light that appeals to me. Maybe it’s the smell of the darkroom and the tangible presence of film.

The great photographer Martin Parr said we live in a world of “too much photography”. There is now a camera in every phone and pocket. Every sunset, snowfall, birthday and special event is now recorded for posterity from every conceivable angle.

In this brave new world, flickr and facebook and instagram and twitter and whatever is the latest social/ network/ sharing/ media/ corporation accommodate and control (and maybe own?) millions upon millions of uploaded digital images.

How does photography as an art form survive? Maybe not through stubborn black and white film photographers like me who produce work in bundles of 12 or 36 exposures destined for either the print or the trash.

For me, it’s about shadow and light and light and shadow… it’s about improvising jazz with a camera.

On the Flats 1

Sept. 28 – Nov. 1, 2011

On the Flats *
Portraits from Wellfleet's Shellfish Grants

Wellfleet Preservation Hall
335 Main St.
Wellfleet, MA 02667

These heroic portraits were made at the Indian Neck, Old Wharf Point and Mayo Beach shellfishing areas, from 2009-2011. The images are of grantholders and field workers who grow the oysters and clams that the town of Wellfleet is famous for. These photographs were made on film, by natural light and using antiquated equipment, to evoke the style of some of the great documentary photographers of the mid-twentieth century. I would like to express my gratitude to the hard–working men and women who graciously gave of their time in allowing me to photograph them, and to everyone else in Wellfleet’s shellfishing community, whose talent and labor produces the finest oysters and clams in the world.

* This project is supported in part by a grant from the Wellfleet Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

May 30-June 13, 2009

Western Wear
Wabi Sabi
"a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent and incomplete"

Wellfleet Public Library
55 West Main St.
Wellfleet, MA

Opening Reception: Sunday, May 31, 3-5pm

Wabi-Sabi is not good or bad. It is or is not.

It is an aesthetic that celebrates things and ideals modest and humble, imperfect, well-worn and unconventional. It is an aesthetic that celebrates things and ideals modest and humble, imperfect, well-worn and unconventional.

Wabi-Sabi is the lunch counter in Providence worn from thousands of elbows and its stools polished by thousands of asses.

It is not anything designated YE or OLDE or SHOPPE at corporate headquarters in Stamford.

It is the depression that your left front tire makes so you know when to stop before you hit the wall.

It is not pre-faded, pre-washed, pre-ripped or pre-shredded.

It is a ten-year-old leather wallet.

It is an old shipwreck appears on the shore in January and hundreds of people come to see and nobody charges admission.

It is Pete Seeger.

It is not American Express Preferred Seating to Pete Seeger’s 90th birthday concert.

It is a lovingly decorated guitar at a bluegrass festival in Framingham.

It is the bare wood showing through the varnish on my 82 year old mandolin where every single one of its players rested his thumb when he fingered a G chord.

It is Manny’s batting helmet in September of ‘04.

It is a pair of shell-fisherman’s boots patched with construction adhesive.

It is my grandfather’s brace and bit.

It is not home-depot/black&ryobi/half-inch/variable-speed-reversible/made/in/China.

It is more Robert Frank than Ansel Adams.

It is not digital……. Yet.