The GloamingApril 23 - May 28, 2016
Visitor Welcome Center presents Alexandra Pacheco Garcia, Jenny Yurshansky and Karen Lee in The Gloaming; bringing together three artists who engage with the photographic medium in the fullest sense of that word. They inhabit photographic practices that are in the thrall of the aura as described by Walter Benjamin, where the existence of the work of art with reference to its aura is never entirely separated from its ritual function. The works are technical, romantic, and confound traditional lens-to-print based photography. In a variety of approaches, each of these artists has used an unusual method that nears the alchemical. It is through this way of working that each allows for a phenomenological resonance to be achieved within this medium, shrugging off the need to be bound to the realm of the real and make room to explore the notions of memory, time, and physical absence as a means of tracing personal and allegorical histories. These artists share a language of loss, an index of the disappeared, and the shadow of mourning all in a manner that is enfolded within a contemporary practice. The lacuna in the works opens a portal through which the moment of contemplation is stretched and expanded, creating a space to consider and inhabit what has come before, what will be, and what is fundamentally needed to embrace the void.
Though this triad of artists avoid the conventional lens, each cradles the idea of image making with an extraneous clarity that can only be achieved through allowing oneself to succumb to the darkness. When a loved one is lost, the world embodies and exhibits their singularity: shoveling it throughout the present, unearthing the past, while burying the future.
While the botanical realms of the earth are forcefully aligned with the needs of humans, Yurshansky continues to forage her imaginary; laying to rest her past, while petrifying her passion for the unlikely survivor who strategically traverses lush but exclusive environments. Lee’s photographs encased in beeswax, posit that an analog photo’s aura lies not in a discernible image but in it having stood witness to a particular time and place. Both Lee and Yurshansky pay homage to the massive windows and the light which they offer the space. Whereas Lee builds an altar, a photosensitive fabric sculpture that evolves with the exhibition, Yurshansky reveals the sombering effects if that light is taken away. Take it away, take faith away, and you are left with nothing; a black hole, a gaping wound in need of healing. Pacheco Garcia’s large-scale kirlian prints made from blood, oil and holy water, are cosmic touches of confidence reborn. When a trusted photographic medium that once captured love, could only show pain, Pacheco Garcia felt a deep need to realign her faith with her passion. Her illustrious results on paper begin with the artist standing alone in the dark, in the void, with nothing but fire at her fingertips and scar tissue to burn. Let there be light and then there was.