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If the main point of art is to see the world in new ways, Lines of Sight, the group show curated by Boston photographer Alicia Savage for the Flash Forward Festival, qualifies as proof-of-theory. An inspiring installation featuring groupings of work by seven emerging photographers, the exhibit at Midway Studios in the Ft. Point district of Boston has been extended through June 10, 2016.
In curating this show, Savage selected artists whose approach to everyday experiences and objects share a poetic aesthetic. Rather than supplying a traditional narrative, these photographers present deconstructed and abstracted views that loosen assumptions and encourage viewers to piece things together in their own ways. To that end, there are no artist statements accompanying the show. As a case in point, Caleb Churchill photographs discreet fragments of larger entities, creating visual edges beyond which the viewer must infer what is going on. The gathering of his singular images creates an aggregate that allows the unconscious and memory to make sense of “a world in constant motion.” His imagery carries an air of mystery and intrigue.
Matthew Cronin’s eye-catching photographs of “the morning hours, a time filled with ordinary beauty” capture the unappreciated banality of daily living. His intuitive responses to morning minutiae are celebratory endearments to commonplace objects and rituals. In contrast, Cole Don Kelley’s motives are clandestine, as he offers inscrutable images in which something seems off-kilter. His use of distorted angles, harsh light and confusing, obfuscated compositions succeed in recreating the feeling of turmoil and unease that defines our modern world (feature image).
In an intercontinental collaborative project between London photographer Courtney Nimura and western Massachusetts photographer Trevor Powers that began in 2012, “Air Mail, After You” is an ongoing visual dialog of interpretations and responses to each other’s single images delivered via traditional mail service. Presented together, the prints weave a story of connections that can be visual, emotional, or intellectual and are not always obvious, leaving space for viewers to create personal narratives from the artists’ photographic tributes to one another.
Lindsay Metivier’s family legacy of trash collecting and hoarding helped her find beauty in unusual and discarded items. Her photographs acclaim these mundane objects, often pictured in someone’s hand, conferring greater worth and appeal. But they also waver between fantasy and reality, harmony and chaos, with disarming and disquieting effect.
Vivian Ewing’s photographs in “Dry Grass Crackling” stem from a letter she found stapled to a telephone pole that began, “Was it beautiful to lie in bed and see the ceiling on fire through a smoldering cloud of ash?” From that note, a rush of questions incited her imagination, spurring a richly imagined storyline and photographs evoking dream-like snippets of the escaping young man’s physical sensations and memories. Her abbreviated visualizations capture light and isolate her subjects in a way that conveys empathy and longing.
Lines of Sight gathers seven young, conceptual artists who, in response to an unrelenting daily deluge of pictures, have deconstructed their experiences into visually compressed, singular images. Their photographs function like words, recombined and arranged into visual poems. Displayed with a tension in spacing that creates ebb and flow, the installations can be both challenging and freeing to viewers, inviting an associative dance of visual and emotional discovery. You can embark on this exciting, mysterious photographic journey through June 10, 2016.
For directions, hours and more information about this exhibit, go to: http://www.midwaygallery.org/work/#/lines-of-sight/
To learn more about the seven exhibiting artists, along with the curator’s description of the show, go to the Flash Forward Boston Festival website: http://www.flashforwardfestival.com/exhibition/lines-of-sight/
Feature Image: Photograph by Cole Don Kelley (courtesy of the artist).