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Ebner, Shannon
U.S. (1971 - )
Chromogenic color print
62 3/8 x 47 1/2 in. (158.4 x 120.7 cm) exposed image size; 63 11/16 x 48 13/16 x 2 in. (161.8 x 124 x 5.1 cm) frame size
Gift of David Hoberman, Los Angeles
FA 2013.138
Keywords: Trees; Sign; Text; Woman artist; California artist: Los Angeles

Throughout her photography, Shannon Ebner uses language and symbols as mutable materials in a shifting landscape of meaning. In contrast to an image that fixes and locates, Ebner has described an interest in the “unrested image,” one that exists in a state of indeterminacy.

In this photograph, the ampersand functions as a sculpture provisionally propped in a nondescript landscape evoking the temporary, and the potential for the construction and deconstruction of language and meaning. As a signifier, it points to a conjunction that directs readers beyond the frame of the image in search of the missing connection. In keeping with Ebner’s interest in the mutability of language, it is important to note that the word “ampersand” is the result of slurring the words “and per se and.” This was the spoken convention for how to read the “&” that was included as the last letter in the English alphabet into the 1800s.

Label copy for The Time. The Place. Contemporary Art from the Collection, November 4, 2017 to March 25, 2018.

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