A press photograph is defined by its function, which is to add a visual illustration to the contents of the story copy. But if the link is severed between text and image, what happens to that image? What does it become? Murray Moss has been experimenting with that uncertainty during a two-year investigation into the archives of defunct newspapers. Moss has picked out the most interesting examples of press photographs he found, displaying them for the first time free of their original context and instead pairing them with another image – sometimes sympathetic, sometimes antagonistic.
His exhibition is entitled Tertium Quid, which translates from Latin as “a third thing” and refers to a third factor of unknown status in relation to a pair. So it is that his photographs, when placed in pairs, generate a third thing – a new story created by the images re-contextualising in their new relationship. In addition to this artistic consideration, Moss is also paying tribute to the dying newspaper industry and doffing his cap to the often unsung and unseen press photographer. The exhibition is being held at Edelman Arts in New York until August 15.