December 20, 2005
Photocentric: The Photography of the Upper Midwest
Alex Starace visits the latest exhibition at the Minnesota Center for Photography and likes what he finds.......
The quirkiness and spunkiness of many of the works is what makes the show, as a whole, so impressive. One of the best (and strangest) is the work of Celeste Nelms, whose photographs have the faded, grayish tones of decrepit mementos, and are framed in cheap, wooden, thrift-store-purchase frames. The images are surreal – simultaneously modern, old-timey and spooky. In Car Lot, a blurry figure wearing what appears to be a primitive spacesuit walks out of the sales office of a car dealership. The awning above the figure says “MARS.” It is a normal, present-day car lot, a potentially normal image, and yet . . . Why the person in the suit? Why the junky frame? Why does the photograph look (and feel) so old, so much like a precious relic from a bygone era? . . . The result is a piece of art that has an extraordinarily strong emotional pull – Car Lot expresses strangeness, imagination, nostalgia, personal beauty, the creepiness of objects and the weirdness of the everyday, and it does it all at once – it’s absolutely mesmerizing.
Your Photo Here
Grave Ornaments (Series)
High School Portrait
Big Mouth Billy Bass
Cap Gun, Scuba Suit, Pedals, Stockings
Camp Camel Toe