"Currents: Al Souza"
June 12 - July 29 1982
"Al Souza initiated a systematic exploration of the nature of the photographic process, using it to critique the manner by which photography encodes and translates the world into a system of information, signs, and facsimiles. Since 1974, Souza has been producing 'photoworks,' a term that he concocted to pun on the relative function and disposition of the 'photo' in the 'art work.' Souza does not make photographs. Though he shoots his own images, he has been employing Kodak to develop his negatives and to produce 'R-type (3 1/3" x 5") prints, creating a 'found image' look. This assures that his photoworks will not be confused with fine art photography, since technical virtuosity is not germane to his more conceptual concerns."

-Ned Rifkin, exhibition brochure.

"Souza uses the photographic process to create his ‘photoworks’ on a small and intimate scale. Souza’s presentation is emphatically precise and clean, consistently simple and direct, and neutral. An arrangement of snapshot-size color photographs is mounted in evenly spaced rows and columns on ragboard. Enclosed in a box, the grid of prints is frequently paired with one or more objects that relate to the photographic imagery. In his more recent photoworks, Souza has replaces the three-dimensional objects with paintings that refer to the images in the photos, thereby triggering a dialog between the photographed image and the painted image.”

-From The New Museum Press Release, June 2, 1982
New Museum curator
Courtesy the Artist and New Museum