I Don't Believe My Eyes

The photography of Lane Wilson conjures the dramatic, high-contrast landscapes of legends such as Ansel Adams and Edward Weston. Stark. Beautiful. Serene. … And then there's Wilson's other work. One example is a wintertime shot taken in the mountains that resembles the hide of a Holstein cow. In fact, you have to focus for a few seconds to conclude that you're not looking at a Holstein cow. And even then you're only mostly sure, not all sure. It's puzzling — and it's precisely the kind of photo Ann Jastrab was looking for when she put together “Scene Unseen,” a collection of works that start with predictable settings or objects and make them look like they're from different worlds. Another such piece comes from Mary Parisi. She shoots food. Only, sometimes it doesn't look like food. It looks like a landscape. (Are you sensing a pattern here?) The result is “Ham Mountain.” Adam Ekberg, on the other hand, augments his landscapes, like the time he put a vacuum cleaner on the snowy surface of a frozen lake — then plugged it in and turned it on. Frozen lake aside, many shots in “Scene Unseen” were taken in familiar places around the Bay Area, Jastrab says, but don't expect to recognize any. A recent reaction to one piece in the show might as well speak for them all: “It looks different than any place I've ever been.”
Nov. 11-Dec. 12, 2010

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