Exhibit moves far beyond the camera - Albuquerque Journal

Exhibit moves far beyond the camera

“Matsushima Dream” by Patrick Nagatani reveals the sometime frightening vividness of the dream state.
“Matsushima Dream” by Patrick Nagatani reveals the sometime frightening vividness of the dream state.

Renowned photographer Patrick Nagatani has curated an exciting photography exhibition with five other artists at SCA Contemporary Art. The show examines the range and latitude of contemporary photography that moves far beyond the still camera.

Since photography’s humble beginnings in mid-19th-century Europe it has always had a problematic relationship with the fine art of painting. Who could have guessed that crude cameras producing fragile images on glass in 1842 would find themselves recording food shots on Twitter or the birth of a baby in real time?

In the beginning of his career Nagatani once held a film camera and took shots of his Los Angeles neighborhood, but like Dorothy he’s not in Kansas anymore. The breathtaking array of his accomplishments since his point-and-shoot days could and have filled several books.

If you go
WHAT: “Private Universes/Personal Spaces” with Gillian Brown, Carol Chase Bjerke, Jyl Kelley, Leigh Anne Langwell, Scott Rankin and Patrick Nagatani
WHEN: Through June 7. Hours are noon-5 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and by appointment. Call gallery director Sheri Crider at 228-3749
WHERE: SCA Contemporary Art, 524 Haines NW, just south of I-40
HOW MUCH: Free

In this show Nagatani unveils selections from his 30-year-long tapist series wherein he painstakingly layers translucent masking tape over ink jet prints.

The installation begins with “Uncertainty,” a mural-scale image based upon the Anasazi ruins in Chaco Canyon. For years Nagatani has built scale models of Anasazi kivas into which he has inserted miniature BMWs and other fine cars as if they were part of the fossil record. His subsequent photographs reconstitute the miniature sites into full scale fantasy digs.

So it is impossible to know whether “Uncertainty” has any direct connection to real world cultural remains or are manifestations of our collective memories of the past as expressed through Nagatani’s model-building prowess.

Nagatani reveals the difference between the sometimes frighteningly vivid quality of dreams compared to the softened and self-protective qualities of memories in “Matsushima Dream” and “Matsushima Memory.”

The almost garish colors in his dream image of a landscape with water features are juxtaposed with the soft and misty palette used in “Matsushima Memory.”

“Cairn 5.13.11-18” by Carol Chase Bjerke imparts an echo of Buddhism while paying homage to ancient monuments.
“Cairn 5.13.11-18” by Carol Chase Bjerke imparts an echo of Buddhism while paying homage to ancient monuments.

Videos can be really boring or fun. Gillian Brown is a master at making videos that embrace the arts and sciences in ways that make her works compelling. Never boring and beyond fun her “The Shape of the Universe” and “The Beginning of Language” projected videos are the bee’s knees.

For “The Shape of the Universe” Brown built an open structure of a house with a bed inside surrounded by a sphere and tetrahedron fashioned from wire.

When the video of a woman sleeping is projected onto the construction it becomes integrated and virtually disappears as a separate structure. The video contains a soundtrack of running water and is filled with star-laden galaxies, mathematic notations and geometric drawings all playing over the restless woman in bed presumed to be dreaming the floating imagery and water sounds.

Brown’s videos are gob-smacking good to watch and a touch of fun as well.

Leigh Anne Langwell loves to play with scale and like Nagatani likes to build her own tableaux. In the past Langwell photographed organic microcosmic molecules that looked like laboratory specimens. The molecules, however, were constructions much larger than they looked and were made from a variety of materials.

In her “Private Universe” series Langwell has thrown aside her controlled exposure lighting setups and printing equipment in favor of her tableaux creating materials, only this time she is making huge things on a tiny scale.

Langwell discovered that her father, who was a lifelong hobby astronomer, had really wanted to be an astronaut who traveled among the stars. In his honor she constructed galactic imagery that could be hung on the wall to contemplate at ones leisure.

 “Private Universe: Galaxy 5” by Leigh Anne Langwell reconfigures her father’s dreams of travels in the cosmos.
“Private Universe: Galaxy 5” by Leigh Anne Langwell reconfigures her father’s dreams of travels in the cosmos.

Like the Lilliputian galaxy that hung from a dog’s collar in “Men in Black” Langwell offers viewers tiny views of the macrocosm. Her work is beautifully executed with impeccable craft.

Scott Rankin offers the most conventional-looking imagery with a series of sky shots. One of the strengths of photography is its ability to freeze an instant in time. But, when you view Rankin’s skies filled with subtle colors and ambiguous shapes they seem to be in motion – nice trick.

I see Carol Chase Bjerke’s “Touchstones” series of photography and drawings to be part of the growing land-art movement with the added element of sculpture that celebrates works by Andy Goldsworthy as well as ancient stone cairns found all over the world.

Her small constructions also impart a Buddhist echo.

Jyl Kelley uses human hair and finely crafted speakers to create sound sculptures that swing between Alexander Graham Bell’s first amplified utterances to the string and Dixie cup audio devices of childhood treehouse fame.

Kelley embraces the historic interface between art and technology in a positive and creative manner.

This is a great show filled with veteran artists from around the country who have granted themselves artistic freedom despite the fact that they all have MFAs.

“Uncertainty” 2012 by Patrick Nagatani is part of his tapist series now entering its 30th year.
“Uncertainty” 2012 by Patrick Nagatani is part of his tapist series now entering its 30th year.
Home » Entertainment » Arts » Exhibit moves far beyond the camera

Insert Question Legislature form in Legis only stories




Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

ABQjournal can get you answers in all pages

 

Questions about the Legislature?
Albuquerque Journal can get you answers
Email addresses are used solely for verification and to speed the verification process for repeat questioners.
1
‘The Misfits’ a collection of 15 short stories and ...
ABQnews Seeker
The first story, “Walk the Ice,” ... The first story, “Walk the Ice,” reveals the book’s narrator as a screenwriter in Los Angeles. After five years, he’s suffering from a disconnection ...
2
MasterWorks of New Mexico show hits 25 years of ...
ABQnews Seeker
The annual show runs through April ... The annual show runs through April 16, at Expo New Mexico's Hispanic Arts Gallery, 300 San Pedro Dr. NE.
3
There are several resources for finding the best tree ...
ABQnews Seeker
In "Down to Earth: A Gardener's ... In "Down to Earth: A Gardener's Guide to the Albuquerque Area" written by the Albuquerque Area Extension Master Gardeners, there is a very informative ...
4
The Gallery ABQ presents its April salon show "Perspectives" ...
Arts
Meyer Gallery, 225 Canyon Road, Santa ... Meyer Gallery, 225 Canyon Road, Santa Fe, is showing "Ken Daggett: Evolutions of the Day" from May 12-25.
5
New Mexico Gay Men's Chorus takes on the legacy ...
ABQnews Seeker
'The Show Must Go On' will ... 'The Show Must Go On' will open on Friday, March 31, at Santa Fe's Lensic Performing Arts Center, and on Saturday, April 1, and ...
6
Ragamala Dance Company to perform 'Sacred Earth' at the ...
ABQnews Seeker
The Ragamala Dance Company will perform ... The Ragamala Dance Company will perform "Sacred Earth" at 4 p.m. Sunday, April 2, in the Lensic Performing Arts Center, 211 W. San Francisco ...
7
New Mexico Museum of Art has new curatorial leader
ABQnews Seeker
The New Mexico Museum of Art ... The New Mexico Museum of Art has named Christian Waguespack as its new head of curatorial affairs.
8
Chatter to premiere new pieces
ABQnews Seeker
Composer Christopher Cerrone's work was co-commissioned ... Composer Christopher Cerrone's work was co-commissioned by four ensembles.
9
'With the Grain' explores the modern and contemporary works ...
ABQnews Seeker
These artists used the simplest of ... These artists used the simplest of tools - chisels, hammers and sandpaper - pairing them with local wood, including cedar, aspen, mesquite and cottonwood.