Thursday, November 30, 2006
Monterey Peninsula College Art Gallery
MPC Gallery consistently shows photography. “Our mission in exhibiting photography is to broaden the awareness of our students. They are the ones who will inherit the legacy of photography on this peninsula,” says Gallery Director Melissa Pickford. The current exhibition, Imagination Incarceration, shows collages by Pamela Lanza as well as the unique work of photographer Harry Wilson. Wilson’s series, Threshold of Darkness, was shot in Eastern Europe, where he found beauty and charm but also vestiges of the chilling history of the holocaust.
While his photographs are printed in the traditional manner in the darkroom, and he uses a traditional camera with film, he shoots double exposures by exposing a roll of film completely, rewinding it, and shooting on the same film again. The result is extraordinary in about one in 40 shots.
“I allow chance to play a role. I like to think that I, and the place, and the medium, and the muses conspire to create something unique and that I make myself available to the medium,” he says. The conspiracy has resulted in images that would have been impossible to plan without the use of digital technology.
A concentration camp uniform is superimposed on a barbed
wire fence, a Star of David sits exactly on top of a guard
tower, a portrait of Hitler is imposed on a graffiti’d wall
with the word DEAD on his face. In talking with the students
of MPC, Wilson mused, “I want to show that documentary
photography can be emotional, not just a literal recording of
life in the world. I just want to get out of the way of the
Pacific Grove Art Center
Lensless is an exhibition of images by the students of a photography class at Monterey Peninsula College taught by Martha Casanave. The images were created with a process that predates the camera and the photographic lens: “pinhole” cameras and photograms.
Casanave’s new book, Explorations Along an Imaginary
Coast, is a tour de force of the pinhole camera process,
using wide angles and long exposures to capture its
subject—the Monterey County coast—in the process of constant
movement, producing images that are at once acutely observed
and abstractly poetic.
National Steinbeck Center
One current exhibition, What’s Going On, shows how
photography can tell information-packed stories of huge
historic events using images of small human moments with great
emotive impact. Among memorabilia of the Vietnam era, powerful
photographs capture not only events but the power of the
emotion behind them.
Highlands Inn Gallery
A continuously changing exhibition, The Assistants of Ansel Adams, is currently on view showing photographers who came to work with the great man and stayed. It’s a great place to look at the art, sit at a fire, overlook the tangled trees and the coastline and ponder the question: Why did this extraordinary group of artists congregate here in this place?
One answer lies right before your eyes.