In Plain Sight
- WHEN: March 15-April 20, 2014
- VENUE: Smack Mellon
- URL: smackmellon.org/index.php/exhib...
- ADDRESS: 92 Plymouth Street
Artists’ Reception: Saturday, March 15, 5pm-8pm
Screening of The Otolith Group’s The Radiant on Thursday, April 3 at 7:30pm
Neil Armstrong planting the American flag on the moon; the destruction of the Berlin Wall; planes hitting the World Trade Center in New York; and so on. These images have come to encapsulate, indeed to stand in for, larger and more complex global, historical processes. In their capture, and their subsequent elevation to symbolic representations, much is lost. Alternative images were either snapped and discarded or never captured in the first place. It is to these surrounding scenes that this exhibition is devoted.
Examining a central problematic of the contemporary moment—the dialectic of unprecedented media saturation and the inability to see—every work in the show sidelines a primary media spectacle, capturing instead images unlike those prevalently seen. The viewing experience is thereby situated between what has been overexposed and that which is underrepresented, between what is in the room and what is not.
In accumulation, these alter-images serve to rupture common modes of depiction; problematize the assumption that seeing images of horror leads to awareness; and question why and how certain images come to occupy a primary cultural position. The camera, known for its centering capacities, shifts its attention and, in so doing, simultaneously insists on the documentary image’s potential to reveal all that is hiding in plain sight.