University Museums

Title: visiting
Name: Photograph
Date: 1995
Medium: Photograph
Dimensions: 30 1/4 x 94 in. (76.8 x 238.8 cm)
Classification: Photographs
Credit Line: Gift of Ann and Al Jennings. In the permanent collection, Brunnier Art Museum, University Museums, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.
Object Number: um95.38
More Information
This photographic interpretation of Janus Agri-Altar emphasizes the courtyard as a place of spiritual renewal. The cement ring around the sculpture suggests continuity through the ages, and illustrates religious and spiritual ties between humans and nature. Janus Agri-Altar asks the viewer to take time to reflect, and as a part of humanity, pay homage to the agriculture we all depend.

King Au’s “Visiting” is a photographic interpretation of “Janus Agri Altar” by Beverly Pepper, located in the Agronomy Courtyard, Iowa State University and in the Art on Campus Collection. The photograph is Au’s transformation response to an artist in a different medium. His response connects the art being looked at to the art being used as transformative. King Au’s photographs present images that the viewer cannot reproduce while viewing the sculpture on site. But by examining this work of art, the viewer can see how such interaction extends the network of intuitive and intellectual responses. By isolating part of the sculpture, the photographer works within the visual elements of line, surface, and tonality to create a new starting point of response. Au has moved even farther in his translation by showing how the two dimensional art of photography can find relations obscured by the fluid work of space. This dimensional translation is, of course, most striking when interpreting sculpture.