“Becoming Something Else” at Rebekah Templeton – Knight Foundation

“Becoming Something Else” at Rebekah Templeton

Rebekah Templeton Contemporary Art is currently showing the exhibition “Becoming Something Else.” The work in the show comes from four different artists — Anita Allyn, Micah Danges, Todd Keyser, and Leigh Van Duzer — and all of it is in some way a reworking of photography as a medium.

Allyn’s piece in the show consists of a dual image in “+-.” The image pictures a large-printed photo of multicolored balloons. Below the print hangs a mirror image of the balloons in a dark bronze/black color. The major difference between the two images is that one is not a depiction; the hanging balloons are actually real, inflated objects. Like much of the work in the show, this piece very directly challenges photographs as objects aside from their representational quality.

Leigh Van Duzer

The work by Van Duzer is also quite object-like. “Metaplasia” is a manipulated photo of wooden structural supports, which is abstracted via mirroring and symmetry. Initially the underside of a pavilion roof or some similar construction, Van Duzer then takes to the newly arranged geometric patterns and cuts out negative space. The image is hung in such a way that it bends toward the viewer, and both cutouts and curvature lend to its three-dimensional nature. The starting image’s lattice of wooden beams is reflected in the cut slivers of paper. This serves to reintroduce three dimensions into a structure that formerly had its depth removed by the photographic process.

Micah Danges

Acting somewhat as inversions of one another’s process, Danges and Keyser both alter the surface of photos but in two opposite ways: addition and subtraction (in a way, a nod to the title of Allyn’s piece). Danges slices out parts of photos and leaves flat colors in place of the removed sections. In these instances, one shows a photo with only a thin, red wave cut out from its center. The other desaturated photo mimics the hill in the background with a black bell-curve-like shape. Simultaneously negative space and the focus of the piece, the missing section, unlike those in Van Duzer’s work, is not really a gap in the picture but a heavily weighted visual form in and of itself.

Todd Keyser

Keyser’s process is additive in that paint is applied to photographs, but the covered areas also reveal that adding layers can also be subtractive. Once areas are blocked from sight, they indeed become something else, and the exposed sections of photo now exist in relation to the new sections and not whatever lies beneath the paint. The dichotomy of the positive and negative, additive and subtractive, is also very telling of the show as a whole.

Photography in the digital age has come a long way since the time of chemicals and darkrooms. “Becoming Something Else” demonstrates how processes evolve and create new meanings on seemingly old forms. By returning to physical photography instead of light from a computer monitor, these artists examine photos in their role as objects aside from their representational content.

Rebekah Templeton Contemporary Art is located at 173 W. Girard Ave.; 267-519-3884.