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Analog Photographic Technique Yields Striking Effects

‘In Light We Trust’ at Walkers Point Arts Center

Mar. 29, 2016
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Photography has come a long way since Nicéphore Niépce captured a bucolic view of Saint-Loup-de-Varennes, France from a high window of his countryside estate in about 1827. With our ubiquitous smart phones, most of us now have at our fingertips more sophisticated technology than Niépce could ever have imagined. We’ve grown so accustomed to using the most convenient device to capture moments in time that we run the risk of forgetting that there exist other ways of apprehending light, which, although “antiquated,” possess unusual beauty and thus artistic appeal.

Just as there are those who insist on vinyl’s auditory superiority, so do the photographers of In Light We Trust (Walker’s Point Center for the Arts, April 1-May 14) prefer analog photographic devices and processes. And Carrisa Heinrichs, F. Martin Morante, Hal Rammel and Vicki Reed make a strong case with rediscovered photographic techniques including pinhole, cyanotypes, lumen prints, Van Dyke, CMY gum bichromate, palladium prints, and cameraless processes like photograms and cliché verre. The effects achieved are striking. Lumens, for instance, are made by exposing black-and-white photo paper works to direct sunlight for several hours with a result that is perhaps best described as psychedelic X-ray. The artists will be on hand for an opening reception on Friday, April 1 from 5-9 p.m. 

Pfister Hotel’s New Artist-in-Residency

Pfister Hotel

424 E. Wisconsin Ave.

The Pfister Hotel has proclaimed its 2016-17 artist-in-residence. On Friday, April 1, Pamela Anderson assumes the venerable office in the Pfister’s lobby-level studio/gallery. Anderson’s appointment is the first artist-in-residency awarded to a non-representational painter. As home to more Victorian art than any other hotel in the world, it will be interesting to see how Anderson’s abstract expressionism responds to the sober classicism of her new working environment. Equally interesting will be how Anderson’s vivacious canvasses transform the stately setting of the Pfister.

Kenilworth Open Studios

Kenilworth Square East

1915 E. Kenilworth Place

The eagerly awaited Kenilworth Open Studios occurs Saturday, April 9 from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. These four brief (all-too brief) hours are glutted with more than 100 displays and demonstrations by distingué faculty and students of UW-Milwaukee’s Peck School of the Arts. Maria Gillespie—assistant professor of dance, artistic director/choreographer of LA-based Oni Dance and co-founder of “improvisation hothouse” Hyperlocal MKE—will be joined by five students to present an excerpt of Mapping Migrations of Gesture. The performance series thematizes the ways in which our bodies communicate non-linguistic meaning and transform the meaningfulness of language itself. Preview it at Kenilworth Open Studios to prepare for the unabridged performance installations that will take place at different locations across Milwaukee during spring and summer.

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