“Keeping Time: Cycle and Duration in Contemporary Photography” Exhibition opening at PRC in Boston this Friday, November 7

KEEPING TIME is the title for an exhibition opening November 7th at the PRC in Boston; reception is this evening November 6th from 5:30 – 7:30. The exhibition will be on view through January 25th, 2009.

From the website:

Artists include Stuart Allen (TX), Erika Blumenfeld (TX), Rebecca Cummins (WA), Sharon Harper (MA), Chris McCaw (CA), Matthew Pillsbury (NY), Byron Wolfe (CA).

EXHIBITION ESSAY by Leslie K. Brown:

From the December / January / February 2008 – 2009
PRC newsletter, in the loupe
By Leslie K. Brown, PRC Curator

“This group exhibition brings together photographers who deal with concepts of time, duration, and cycles—human, celestial, and photographic—in their work. From the “music of the spheres” to “seasonal affective disorder,” there is no doubt that humans are affected by time and the natural rhythms of the sun, moon, tides, and seasons. Since its very beginnings, photography has been lauded as nature capturing itself and as a method with which to stop, preserve, and contemplate time.

In creating their work, each artist in Keeping Time uses a different idea or aesthetic means to capture time and bookend or collect their exposures. For example, several in the show create rules or use outside activities to dictate when the shutter is open and closed. Others follow important celestial markers, like equinoxes, or human markers, like birthdays or conversations. Concomitant with this, a number of the artists incorporate, and often welcome, elements of chance within their work.

Usually used to record a single moment, photography can cumulatively record time and light in a way that no other medium (or even our eyes) can. Recalling earlier motion and time studies of Eadweard Muybridge and Étienne-Jules Marey, some photographers in Keeping Time alter their cameras or construct new forms of light recording devices. These artists cut to the core of the medium itself and duly consider the interesting possibilities of light as subject as well as the materiality of the medium.

Time itself is both an experience and a construct. Our understanding and conception of it has changed over time and place. “Standard time” came into being as a result of the railroads needing to coordinate schedules; “daylight savings time” is itself a convention, adopted to take advantage of daylight in the summer months. Today, new developments in physics and astronomy challenge and extend our traditional conceptions of light, space, and time. This work also brings to mind philosophical and mathematical concepts of duration and time—from the theories of Henri Bergson to Albert Einstein.

As time seems to pass by faster and faster everyday, these artists grant us a chance to look to the sky and slow down. It is not a far jump, then, for us to contemplate the natural cycle of life and death, not only for astronomical bodies, but for our own bodies as well. Simply put, Keeping Time aims to unite various projects that attempt to make sense of and keep time.”

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