Marshmallow snow, bologna mountain ranges, and milk lakes define the landscapes of Barbara Ciurej and Lindsay Lochman’s photo series “Processed Views.” The artists utilized familiar American junk food to create artificial nature scenes that simultaneously repulse and fascinate. The series was intended as a commentary on America’s reliance on processed foods, which the artists described as a symptom of our collective detachment from nature. “As we move further away from the sources of our food, we head into uncharted territory replete with unintended consequences for the environment and for our health,” the artists wrote in their statement about the project.
While it’s been a long time since most Western countries have experienced a war on their own soil, our mass media is rife with gory imagery that often fetishizes death and destruction. This idea was the starting point for creative director Anna Burns’ and photographer Michael Bodiam’s series, “Silent But Violent.” For the body of work, Burns fashioned mushroom clouds of out benign, household items such as balloons, watermelon, and bouquets — even the embroidery on a quilt. Shot in domestic interiors, the miniature mushroom clouds speak to our desensitized consumption of violent content.
The women in Zhang Jingna’s photographs look so pristine that at a first glance, they appear painted. The New York-based artist styles them in flowing, ruffled gowns and adorns them with flowers and jewels.
Using careful arrangements of mirrors, lights, and negative space, James Nizam takes analog photographs that capture his ephemeral interventions. His simple arrangements of light beams evoke the Minimalist sculptures of the 1960s, yet Nizam’s work is tangible only in the form of the resulting photo. With his geometric arrangements, he alters the way his audience views architectural spaces and draws connections between photography, design, and sculpture.
A master manipulator in the dark room, Misha Gordin has been creating surreal photographs with PhotoShop-like effects since the 1980s. Gordin’s work looks at the universal elements of life: conflict, birth, death, loneliness and the quest for companionship. His bald, naked subjects represent the archetypical everyman. Often featured alone or with their doubles, these characters are not tied to any particular time or culture. Gordin’s most recent work takes place on the beach, where his unadorned subjects engage in fraught and seemingly aimless activities that suggest a battle within themselves more so than a struggle against an external force.
Nicola Yeoman creates cryptic installations by altering and rearranging mundane objects. Often installed in abandoned buildings or outdoors, her ephemeral works live on in the form of photographs that become works of art in their own right. Many of Yeoman’s pieces explore typography. In one, she piled and hung wooden chairs in two sections of a room. Viewed from a specific angle, the chaotic arrangement of furniture forms the letter “D” with its negative space.