Theresa Ganz' hand-cut photographic collages do a neat job of slicing and dicing preconceptions. She captures vines and flowers on film, cuts away the backgrounds, rearranges the greenery, and displays the cut-outs against white gallery walls. The effect is of an idealized plant, without the weedy weight of context. In her earlier work, Ganz pushed the Platonic ideal by creating perfectly symmetrical collages of leafy branches, exposing how we try to make nature conform to our ideas of perfection. In her newer work, she goes for messiness instead, hanging shaggy branches and great wads of nasturtiums. With photographed black ribbons woven in, the new collages evoke funeral wreaths gone feral. Ganz' stuff has always been a little somber; here, however, she enters the dark woods of national depression. Nasturtiums, the show's text tells us, stand for “patriotism” and “victory in battle” in the Victorian flower lexicon. As for the bare branches, they look like lashes or scrawls against the wall, indecipherable but decidedly a warning.
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