On the Edge of Clear Meaning
Levi Strauss insists that in formal, artistic terms the innovative aspect of Wood's use of photography actually consisted in a too often unrecognized or suppressed continuity.
"In Wood's work, the photograph often represents the given thing, what is received from the world. The work then is to put that given and received thing into play, to activate it conceptually, aesthetically, and kinesthetically. For Wood that means transforming it haptically, through the hand. is drawing and collaging and intricate manipulations of images are a way of understanding and informing photographs. In the conflicted history of 'art photography,' this has been considered in some quarters at some times, a heresy. But it is a heresy that preceded the orthodoxy, and will certainly outlive it. The 'pure' photograph was a temporary, though powerful, fiction. Photography was born out of a desire to write and draw differently, to write or draw with light, and was always integrate with other arts."
Levi Strauss insists on the politics that informs Wood's work throughout. He notes too that the politics is radically democratic both in the sense of eschewing didacticism and in posing questions of accountability and complicity.
"Wood has always been careful to leave some leeway for viewers to find meaning in his work, thus implicating us in its making. He also implicates us, as citizens, in the problems he addresses. It is not enough to point a finger at politicians or corporations, or the army, he insists: in a putative democracy, we are all responsible for what happens."
* "Eastman House’s portion, “Quiet Protest,” contains work dealing with social and ecological issues. VSW will exhibit Wood’s serial investigations including selected book works, collages, and montages as well as his sand and rock drawings. MAG will present selected works on paper, including watercolors, blue prints, cyanotypes, wax drawings, mixed media, and some 'whirligigs.'"