Consider those forgettable urban locations quickly glimpsed en-route to somewhere more important. The transitional space that is neither here nor there. Although upon closer examination, these places can also serve as repositories of memory, as if human history has been made visible. With varying degrees of representation and abstraction, Bay Area artists Michael Damm, Mayumi Hamanaka and Apollonia Morrill each document locations in flux with new work in photography and video.
Michael Damm’s recent project notlands investigates the entropic “void” spaces that delineate the interior margin of the Bay Area’s built environment. Damm employs an compositing process in which he shoots 35mm slides, and then layers, projects and rephotographs the images. Place becomes protagonist (to borrow a phrase from Hungarian filmmaker Bela Tarr) in the making of highly constructed hermetic miniatures in which emptied-out landscapes insinuate a kind of last days evangelical fervor. Also showing, the single screen video projection foothills and fruitvales, which directs a fixed-frame gaze into the curbs and gutters that line city blocks.
Mayumi Hamanaka also explores this sense of empty spacein her recent series of photographs titled Streak of. Hamanaka’s works are reminiscent of staring into a vast, empty cloudless sky. The photographs frequently omit any specific image, subject matter or context. Lacking any particular focus or reference point, these atmospheric works contain an expansive sense of space, lightness and air. Yet upon closer examination, these subtle works contain a nearly unidentifiable detail that links the image to a contemporary urban area. Streak of suggests that as individuals, each of us is trying to find our location in the void.
The work of Apollonia Morrill investigates and documents spaces in transition to reveal how specific cultural moments are expressed in the intimacies of the built environment. The transitional nature of the spaces MorrilI chooses to photograph, also lead to exploration of the formal boundaries between abstraction and representation.In her recent photographic series titled Transbay Transit Terminal, Morrill investigates San Francisco’s aging bus terminal. Built in 1939, the terminal is slated to be demolished in the coming years.The images of the building’s reflective floors, lighting fixtures and wooden benches reveal the evidence of the collective history of the terminal and countless human stories made visible.
Please join us for a Gallery Talk with the Artists on Saturday, May 12 at 2:00 pm. This event is free and open to the public.
Exhibitions are free and open to the public.