Spotting: the viewing devices of Chenoweth, Davis and Parker
Artists' Reception: November 15, 6-8pm
"Devices" is what comes to mind when considering the photographic work of Kahty Chenoweth, Caryl Davis and Laura Parker. Each of these artists has a way of incorporating "Landscape" into works that spring from varying proximities of body to machine, photography to ritual.
Caryl Davis, in her series Past Pants, uses her own body as an ultimate reference point. Cleverly inverting her physical posture, she photographs the surrounding landscape as seen through the cave-like frame of her legs. Subverting the tradition of the upright rectilinear view, this lends an element of daring, feminized intimacy, and empathy - and documents Davis's location of the self as a "live" topography spanning both the narratives of the world before her eyes and those within her body.
Kahty Chenoweth, in the series Blinds performs as artist-wanderer, presenting herself in landscapes both natural and urban hidden in a variety of colorful capes and tents. These fabric enclosures are riddled with vents and openings that allow Chenoweth ports from which to train her lens upon the majestic and mundane. The results are sharply focused fragments of places and things that float, within soft-edged shapes, in ambiguous color fields. Her awareness of her own status-as-object in this same landscape is demonstrated by the occasional ?external1 document of her contraptions.
Laura Parker wrests images bounced from the blade of a knife or mirror into ambiguous photographs that confound distance and proximity. Some images are captured in the same way that a motionless body of water reflects its surroundings, and in others the reflecting object "dissolves" and gives us nothing but an illogical perceptual rift. Given the difficulty of holding camera in one hand and mirror/knife in the other, these photographs result from an awkward process where ultimate image control is left to chance.
While each of these artists converge in practice, playing with unique framing devices and the incorporation of ?the means of production1 into their images, the results are wildly divergent and challenge the viewer to consider "observation" as active and participatory process.