Sunday, April 5, 2009

Now You See It, Now You Don't at Camera Club

The new show, Now You See It, Now You Don't at Camera Club, is an example of how much show you can put in a small space. Curator Bernie Yenelouis has put together a wonderful, compact exhibition which, like a well-crafted essay, articulates strong ideas with the fewest possible words.

I was familiar with a number of the artists. I have written about Christian Erroi in these pages before, and the work of Marina Berio, Tim Lehmacher, and Laura Larson are well known to me. Their artistic strategies which explore the seen and the unseen, as well as the symbolism of what we believe a photograph shows, were emphasized in Mr. Yenelouis' juxtapositions.

One exciting discovery for me was the work of Egan Franz. His untitled work (the work does have a title but was absent from the exhibition) was a fascinating mix of art historical reference and exploration of printing process. While I cannot pretend to know or understand his complete opus from seeing one picture, after speaking with him at the opening, I am very curious to see more work, and to watch as this artist continues to develop a smart and visually engaging body of work.

I was aware of the work of Tim Lehmacher, but I had not seen an example of this new series. In "Die Blaue Frau" he examines the neurotic and fetishistic relationship the artist Kokoschka developed with the memory he had of his time with Alma Mahler. While the photograph itself is fascinating to see, don't leave the exhibit without reading the full account of the back story of this photograph.

Last summer I had seen a group show which included Marina Berio's work that combines pictures of her family with a process that uses menstrual blood as the pigment in an emulsion. Used as a symbolic element of her presence in a photograph of her husband and son, it draws a neat circle which includes process, relationships, and the unseen photographer within its boundary. Its inclusion in the show, is yet another wonderful example of both the symbolic and the actual that are possible in a photograph.

Exhibition on view April 4th – May 16th
Gallery hours: Monday - Saturday, 12-6 pm
The Camera Club of New York
The Arts Building
336 West 37th Street, Suite 206
New York, NY 10018-4212

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