The Same But Different celebrates the Harn’s growing photography collection. It highlights over 90 photographs by 58 photographers arranged in 13 themes. The photographs in each theme share a visual or conceptual component that is then interpreted through the unique sensibilities of each artist. Like a good short story, the images act like words in a sentence that build an immersive experience of the shared subject. For instance, in the section titled Belief, Jerry Uelsmann’s composite photograph of a personal spiritual journey is exhibited alongside Sebastião Salgado’s photograph of Muslims at prayer and Miguel Gandert’s Christian pilgrim in New Mexico, among others. Each is a manifestation of faith, or the attempt to find it through various means. In a few instances, a thematic group is left unnamed for the viewer to consider what it might be, with quotes from noted authors nearby that act as prompts.
The Same But Different is also an excavation of the Harn’s photography collection across a broad spectrum of subjects and styles, and integrates familiar photographers with lesser known ones. Exhibiting the latter alongside artists from the “official canon” expands the medium’s diverse material past, and its service to art, documentation and journalism. By rediscovering works in the collection by under-recognized artists, a larger conversation emerges reflecting the archive’s history, strengths and future possibilities.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website