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All the Distance: Pratt Institute Photography Faculty Exhibition

Art Scene

All the Distance: Pratt Institute Photography Faculty Exhibition

To kick off the fall season, Pratt Institute’s fall exhibition highlights work from their photography faculty. A table piled high and full of photobooks sits in the center of the exhibition space, offering a potpourri of topics, book sizes and formats, all produced by members of Pratt’s Photography Department. For visitors who have time to browse, the mini-library is a useful tool for going in depth into the practice of the diverse array of image makers on view.

Stephanie Powell, Mother always said I was worth more than diamonds, 2017

The exhibition is not organized around a particular theme, but rather the breadth and depth of the photographic process itself. Digital and analog works sit side by side, along with silver gelatin prints, platinum/palladium prints, video, and photographic sculpture. In one room of the two-room space, the lights are off and a large-scale looping projection showcases three video works by Carrie Schneider, Sara Greenberger Rafferty, and Aura Rosenberg respectively. Audio from the pieces fills the room, with one work’s voiceover sounding like Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa, offering android critical commentary on the data-rich 21st century information age.

 

Elizabeth Bick, Every God, 2017

Every God (2017), by Elizabeth Bick, is a straightforward color photograph that pulses on the wall. It features a crowd shot of adults that fills up the bottom and middle third of the frame. Their gazes are looking outside the right side of the image at an unknown destination. Several of the crowd members have a hand raised with an open palm in what appears to be a religious gesture. Sunlight streams into the photograph from the right side, creating a tension between the gaze of the subjects and the light in their eyes. The top third of the image is black, offering a sharp contrast to the bright light and shadow play from the sun.

Oddly, there is an element that appears to be out of place in the foreground of the bottom third of the image, left of center; a little girl, arms by her side, with a downward gaze toward the viewer. The contrast of adults and child, light and dark, arms down and arms raised, gazes to the right and a gaze forward, is only made more complex by the juxtaposition of race in the image. The child is white and the adults appear to be of Asian descent. The image is not entirely a snapshot, a documentary photography or a work of art. Instead, it exists in an ambiguous space telling an unresolved story, open to numerous interpretations.

 

Gregory Hirose, “Psycobolic Shadow” and “Lonely”, Golden Gai, Tokyo, 2017

Additional works that engage color as a visual vocabulary, collage, abstraction, and documentary styles are all on view in small scale pieces that humbly reveal and explore the many facets and potentials of the photographic medium. Most are not easily read, perhaps the perfect comment on the Pratt Institute Photography Department’s role as a site for educational and creative development.

All the Distance: Pratt Institute Photography Faculty Exhibition is on view through September 22, 2017.