Rephotographing Eadweard Muybridge's extraordinary 1872 mammoth-plate pictures of Yosemite was only the first reason Mark Klett, Byron Wolfe, and I went to Yosemite in the summer of 2001 and returned for four more expeditions. We were interested in Muybridge, and rephotography was a uniquely compelling way to investigate his wanderings across the steep topography of the Sierra. But we were interested in Muybridge because we were interested in time as photography freezes it, represents it, and questions its nature. Our investigation of time in the superlative landscapes of Yosemite soon included rephotographing work by Ansel Adams, Carleton Watkins, and Edward Weston, as well as Muybridge. This allowed us not only to look at places in the time frame of then and now, but, for example, to contemplate Cathedral Rocks as documented by Watkins in 1861, Muybridge in 1872, and Adams in 1944. The rephotography let us document the particulars of four artists' creative decisions and geographical forays and measure ecological and man-made changes in the landscape. But it also let us play with time. The project generated new panoramas that incorporate pictures of the past, ten of which are on view in this exhibition along with rephotographs, reproductions, and, thanks to a loan from UC Berkeley's Bancroft Library, six original photographs by Muybridge. (It also resulted in three long essays by me musing on photography, science, and politics in this place I have returned to again and again, in person and in books, since 1991. They are published in the book to which this is a companion exhibition.) Yosemite in Time was really launched on the banks of the Merced River at the west end of the valley, or rather on the ghostly banks of a river that had moved 100 feet south since Muybridge photographed its tranquil waters 65 years before. “Time is a river” is one of the driving metaphors of our culture, deployed to suggest that everything is moving forward on the same current, that time flows steadily, equally, everywhere. But the river of time is a metaphor that becomes beautifully complicated on the banks of any real river, which has eddies, backwaters, rapids, tributaries, perhaps freezes in winter-and as Mark points out, has a center that moves faster than its edges. John Berger recently wrote, “It is necessary to reject the notion of time that began in Europe during the eighteenth century and is closely linked with the positivism and linear accountability of modern capitalism: the notion that a single time, which is unilinear, regular, abstract and irreversible, carries everything. All other cultures have proposed a coexistence of various times surrounded in some way by the timeless." Trees helped along this sense of an irregular, unpredictable time. There was a juniper that appeared utterly unchanged in the 130 years since Weston photographed it; groves of pines that looked younger and fresher in our time than in Muybridge's; a celebrated lone tree atop Sentinel Dome that had been an icon when Adams photographed it in 1940 but was somewhere between a skeleton and a stump when we visited it. There were sequoias that had become unrecognizable in thirteen decades-and there were many, many places where we could see the same trees age over time. I also found that Yosemite had changed in profound ways in the dozen years since I investigated the place for my 1994 book Savage Dreams: the place was far less white, the indigenous history and presence more justly represented; and fire was accepted as part of the ecology of the place-during one of our expeditions, the smoke of a controlled burn softened the scenery in the distance and altered the photograph Mark and Byron made. This sense of a place subject to multiple, shifting interpretations and desires is another aspect of time in Yosemite, one that makes clear that though the glacier-carved granite is, on the brief timescale of human lives, fairly unchanging (save for the occasional rockfall and invisible erosion), the culture that interprets it is volatile, a windblown veil through which we see. Rebecca Solnit Yosemite in Time is on view in the museum's Theater Gallery, where admission is free.