Jo Ann Callis, who emerged in the late 1970s as one of the first important practitioners of the “fabricated photographs” movement, envisions scenes based on the world around her. For Callis, the camera is simply another element in the composition along with the sets she creates. About the creation of her enigmatic and surreal images, Callis has said her “vocabulary is the lighting, it’s objects in a room, it’s everything you have available to you to make a picture. And for a poet it’s words, and the order of the words, the look on the page, the sound of the voice. All that goes into creating an experience.” Parrot and Roast Beef is a striking picture intended to create a dramatic and imaginary conversation between these seemingly disparate objects. Callis’s photographs force the viewer to narrate the scene and, perhaps, infuse it with new meaning.
Label from For the Love of Things: Still Life, February 27–May 29, 2016