From the Darkroom Ages

Out of the glitz of the Digital Age comes a show that recalls the classic value of film photography

Her colorful results, electrified by the pulsatingly garish palette of the midway, are a wry look at the bedrock of American popular aesthetics. Those aesthetics apparently embrace prize-winning vegetables, droopy flower arrangement entries that have seen better days, a life-size sculpture of a fez-topped Shriner in an apron that cheerily directs us to "help crippled children," and a tattooed pig. A postcard rack in the middle of the gallery, evocative of racks of souvenir postcards offered to fairgoers, contains Moore's prints of other belief-suspending imagery, like two aliens sitting in lawn chairs, a fake pony with its body parts conspicuously labeled and a rapturous child embracing a chicken.

Another of Moore's pieces, entitled Souvenir Views, takes the form of a black-paged, foldout scrapbook, with images printed on matte stock and held in place by vintage-style, black paper photo corners. The photos in this memory book are no less weird, including one of forlorn wooden shelves holding several canning competition entries behind a wire barrier. A lone light bulb illuminating the scene makes the eerie scenario look like the pathetic pantry of some prisoner-of-war camp.

Squeezebox with saudade: Kelly Kirkpatrick's fascination with the complexities of Portuguese culture and history is infectious.
Kelly Kirkpatrick
Squeezebox with saudade: Kelly Kirkpatrick's fascination with the complexities of Portuguese culture and history is infectious.

Details

On view at Northlight Gallery, located on the first floor of Matthews Hall, on the corner of Tyler and Forest malls on the ASU campus, through October 4. For more information, call 480-965-6517.

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Will pixilated, computer-spawned pictures ever replace photographs hand-printed from light-sensitive film negatives? Will slick nano-technology ease out clunky, tried-and-true film photography? Will artists be trading in their third-hand Hasselblads for screaming Coolpix 990 digital cameras any time soon? I seriously doubt it, as long as artists like the ones being shown at Northlight refuse to be seduced by the lure of the easily achievable image and continue their elusive search for the perfect (and perfectly printed) picture.

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