The Oxbow Index encompasses a range of work engaging with the Mississippi River and consists of photographs, drawings, and sculpture. The work sources oxbow lakes that were once a part of the river’s main stream along with the artist’s practice of walking the batture in and around New Orleans. Crosson’s practice is one that seeks the sculptural in the photographic and the photographic in the sculptural, addressing fluctuations, transformations, and time at varying scales.
From the Artist:
My current practice materializes as installation including works of sculpture, photography, drawing and video projection exploring fluctuations, transformations, and time at varying scales. I am interested in both dormancy and latency. These states frame the present by looking forwards and backwards in time. I am interested in looking at larger scale impacts of human activity upon the Mississippi River and its alluvial plain. My current project, The Oxbow Index, seeks to detect and constellate a sense of place.
For this exhibition I have used two separate photographic processes. The first process involves the fabrication of multiple aperture pinhole-type cameras that respond to individual oxbow lakes along the lower Mississippi River. These cameras take form from analyzing individual lake profiles and depths. This information determines the camera’s form, the amount of apertures, and other factors such as focal length. The resultant photographic objects contain multiple images at varying sizes within the paper negative.
The other process emerges from a personal practice of spending time in the batture space of the river. I ride my bike to the levee or the ferry terminal at the base of Canal Street. I kayak the batture with friends and walk it alone. The batture is a space in flux throughout the year, it functions as the river bottom and the river bank. As I write this, the river is barely beginning to recede and over the next few months the saturated banks on the river side of the levee will reemerge. As it does, a process of collation is revealed. Discarded objects carried by the river and its tributaries will collect around Willow and Sycamore trees, become embedded in rip rap, and settle in intricately woven piles behind barges.
A taxonomy can be formed in the sorting of the debris. I collect detached soles from shoes, lighters, bits of river tumbled foams of pinks and ochre, balls of various sizes, and milk crates, along with less discernible objects, misshapen by time in the river. These objects become drivers of temporary sculptural forms that are used in photograms, a photographic process involving the arrangement of objects directly onto light sensitive paper. This process is one that collapses sculpture with image. While the images begin to take on a language of abstraction, the scale of the objects obscuring the light is 1:1. Representation lends itself to abstraction as the objects are re-presented as a two-dimensional record.
Adam Crosson received his MFA in Sculpture + Extended Media from The University of Texas at Austin where he was a Jack G. Taylor and Virginia R. Allen Presidential Scholar and was awarded the College of Fine Arts Fellowship and the Umlauf Prize. He also holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the Fay Jones School of Architecture. In 2016/17, Crosson was a Core Fellow at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. In 2018, he received a Tulane University COR Research Grant, a Monroe Fellowship Grant from the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South, and he was awarded a scholarly retreat. Crosson has been awarded additional fellowships to study at the Royal College of Art, London, and to attend the Vermont Studio Center. He has been included in recent group exhibitions in Berlin at the Humboldt University Nord Branch Library and the Erwin-Schrödinger-Zentrum Science Branch Library, The Ohr-O’Keefe Museum, Biloxi, MS and The Carrol Gallery at Tulane University. Crosson has organized exhibitions in London, Texas, and Vermont. He is currently Assistant Professor and Sculpture Area Head at Tulane University.