Walking Through the World

Sandi Haber Fifield’s approach forces the viewer to slow down and consider the relationship between images
…her work is both a corollary to our current visual environment as well as its antidote.

–Richard Klein, Interim Co-Director/Exhibitions Director Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum


Walking Through the World (2004–2008) is a series of Archival Ink Jet Prints exhibited both as stand-alone images and grid-like compositions that respond to site-specific installation. Here we glimpse home and travels abroad; we at once gaze out of windows and look intimately into domestic interiors; we observe loved ones who are, themselves, engaged in the act of looking beyond the frame. The end affect of these myriad compositions infuses us with a feeling of fleeting romanticism, even as it beckons us to deep, psychological questioning.

“When Haber Fifield installs photographs on opposite and adjacent gallery walls in constellations of information, she activates not only vision, but the space itself,” writes art historian Tom O’Connor. “Through the combination of blurred and focused images, broad shifts in scale, and thoughtful placement beyond a single sightline, she engages the viewers physically with the work: we now move through the gallery space, head and body as well as eyes. The installations provide for an open-ended, participatory experience, with many points of entry, and limitless possibilities. Like internet social spaces with their impromptu parade of ad hoc images and disembodied bytes of information, the installation are democratic and dynamic, echoing the qualities of contemporary culture.”

Arthur Ollman writes, “Sandi Haber Fifield directs our attention to the things we would almost surely overlook…She does not attempt to dramatize these things. We are not being asked to glean a great spiritual meaning from them. Rather she is showing us the context, the living frame within which we live our lives.”

The series is accompanied by a 94-page illustrated monograph, Walking through the World, 2009 published by Charta, that includes essays by Tom O’Connor and Arthur Ollman.