Lab Natural Light 2

JCMA Previous Exhibitions


April 5 – September 14, 2002

Laurie Pruitt - Photographs

Laurie Pruitt’s black and white photographs are based on wanderings, travels, and engagement with the landscape. “I am drawn to the physical aspects of our presence in the landscape: abandoned structures, architectural ruins, paths, tracks, signs of our existence in time and space. These things evoke memory and begin to veil the agents of our imagination. I am intrigued by what grows out of ordinary nature, but transcends it, those moments when the material and the spiritual realm overlap, those moments when we accumulate silent things within us.” Laurie lives and works in Kalamazoo. She studied photography at Western Michigan University.

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September 28 – November 3, 2001

A Tale of Two Cities - Eugène Atget’s Paris and Berenice Abbott’s New York

This exhibition examines the work of two artists who were inextricably linked to each other and to the development of Modern photography. Eugène Atget was an important figure among the European Modernists who sought to make photographs that were direct and pure; photographs that did not imitate the posed compositions and soft effects of Old Master oil paintings. This “pure” or “straight” photography aimed to capture what the eye saw, to work with what was there, rather than to construct what the mind imagined. Much of Atget’s work deals with images of the architecture, streets, store fronts, and parks in his beloved Paris. Although Atget’s work was little known during much of his life, shortly before his death in 1927, his photographs began to attract the attention of the surréalists, in particular Man Ray, who was much enamored with the power of modern photography. Through his association with the surréalists,, Atget met the young Berenice Abbott, a young New York photographer who at that time was working as Man Ray’s darkroom assistant. Abbot was deeply impressed by Atget’s images, saying later there was a sudden flash of recognition—the shock of realism unadorned. Upon returning to New York after an eight-year absence, Abbott embarked on a project to document the ever-changing Gotham landscape. Her efforts produced a catalogue of images that, like Atget’s earlier photographs of Paris, records the city from a Modernist perspective. This exhibition is organized by and on loan from the Syracuse University Art Collection.

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November 16, 2001 – February 2, 2002

Sharyn O'Mara / Debra Di Blasi - Translation

Translation represents a panoramic experience through the dynamics of text and object, language and vision. Writer Debra Di Blasi and mixed-media artist Sharyn O’Mara integrate sound, image, and word to create a surrounding. The horizon line and the constant wind, the plowed fields and the burning grasses become the environment of the ordered and the random. Latent sounds and broken words combine to shape a landscape that is part reconstructed, and part newly formed.

What is the sound of wind that does not stop? A voice that continues beyond itself like the memory of the last word spoken by the voice in you head resonating.  A note held toward infinity: symphony that plays on though the musicians have all gone home or died ago.  Planes. Jet planes.  My father flew them for years, over Midwestern farms, over patches of earth beneath stars vanished in sunlight. His panorama was the bend of the horizon he flew toward, the way it spun its unbroken view of sky & earth when he rolled 360 degrees at night toward home. My father's farm is wide, a living thing, wide and rolling.   There is nothing t  o      s  t  o  p        t   h   e        w   i  n  d       a  n  d      s  o        t  h  e    w i  n d     d   o  e  s         n   o   t         s   t   o   p       c   o   n   s   t    a   n   t          w i  n d across the panorama of horizon, a passing scene when you spin in place to view the unbroken view: 360 DEGREE PLANE: A child babbles, and the voice moves into the world to make the world: orb that has no beginning and no end.  Unbroken view of itself--the world I the voice--staking its claim: I am...I shall be...continuous. My father's jet rolling beneath stars vanished.   We live the 360 DEGREE LIFE, a life of circles and cycles, horizon line unbroken except by the blink of an eye, the lapsed memory.My father's E A R T H    S K Y What is the panorama of love?
- Sound Text, Debra Di Blasi

Debra Di Blasi is author of Drought & Say What  You Like (New Directions, 1997), winner of the Thorpe Menn Book Award, and Prayer of an Accidental Nature (Coffee House Press, 1999). Her screenwriting credits include the internationally award-winning short film Drought, for which she won the Cinavision Screenwriting Award. She recently completed a novel, What the Body Requires, and is at work on her forth book. She holds an MFA in writing from San Francisco State University and a MFA in painting from the Kansas City Art Institutite. She lives and works in Kansas City, MO.

Sharyn O'Marais a mixed-media artist whose work is based in her strong interest in language and text; media range from hot and cold glass to works on paper. She is Chair of the Foundation Program and Associate Professor at Tyler School of Art, Temple University, in Philadelphia Pennsylvania.

Translation was funded by a grant from Juniata College Museum of Art. Special thanks to Christopher Willits who assisted with the sound design production and Karl Olsen for fabrication.

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Detail of Translation, 2001