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Ellen Carey, a Pictures Generation contemporary and member of Buffalo’s avant-garde —- Cindy Sherman and Robert Longo —- upends the medium's collective histories in art and technology with abstract, minimal “picture” signs. Photography Degree Zero and Struck by Light names her twin practices, while Pictus & Writ supports her creative tripod with writing. The Royal Photographic Society (RPS) named Carey one of the top 100 women photographers worldwide - Hundred Heroines - one of 14 Americans.

She emphasizes drawing with light, photography’s indexical; light with color, underscored in process and approach, is her performative record: a visual all - or - nothing (zero). Her photographs no longer represents object-subject relations but rather the twin interplay of light and shadow, stark in black and white minimalism while freeing color itself into a kaleidoscope of abstraction.Well developed in the 20th century in — Abstract Expressionism, Minimal, Conceptual Art — Carey’s photographic pictures of nothing upend the medium's collective histories asking us now: “What is photography?” Or “Is it a photograph”?

"The discovery of my Pull in 1996 introduced Photography Degree Zero; I am the originator of this phrase; its senior user. It refers to Writing Degree Zero by Roland Barthes, which offers a critical discourse on the departure from a descriptive narrative in French avant-garde literature. In related fashion, my work represents the absence of a picture “sign” found in the tradition of landscapes, portraits and still life. Instead, my work consists of an image made without a subject, any reference to a place, person or object, collapsing and upending the mediums’s collective histories".

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