Saturday, July 16, 2011

JOHN CHIARA | ArtSlant Review | Group Exhibition: Science of Sight: Alternative Photography

John Chiara, 15th at Noriega, 2011
Dye Destruction Process
Unique Photograph, 33 x 28 inches
Group Exhibition
Haines Gallery
49 Geary St., Suite 540, San Francisco, CA 94108
June 9, 2011 - July 16, 2011

by Kara Q. Smith

"Certainly science is central to the methodical processes witnessed in Science of Sight: Alternative Photography at Haines Gallery. This is a science of chemicals, of alchemy, of an Otherworld. Light reacts: transgressing the limits of minuscule holes, meeting new levels of exposure.

More than the fundamental techniques needed to produce a photographic image, Science of Sight seeks to expose something less literal:  the mental faculties of sight, a vision evocative of memories and dreams. And it is here, where past techniques capture a contemporary social ethos. Perhaps then, this Science is less a re-creation than it is a re-imagining: an anachronistic rebellion of sorts.

Begging for a soundtrack when one views them, John Chiara's work defies any existing presentation standard I know of with his jaggedly cut photographic prints, stained with uneven chemistry and black smudges. Nonetheless, his images float (from lack of matting) in their white frames as well as on the gallery wall to remind us of a sort of Whistler-esque nocturne that pastorally reminds me of dreams or memories. Emerging from his self-made large-scale camera that he hauls around on the back of his truck, his work embodies a special space in landscape imagery that is emotional and deep, shadowy and reminiscent. Once taken, there is no way to recreate the exact moment of capture."

Read full review @ ArtSlant

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