Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Review: Molly Zuckerman-Hartung @ Julius Caesar

Molly Zuckerman-Hartung lifted a small format (APS-C) DSLR to her eye and slowly turned round her studio space; at fairly regular intervals she depressed the camera's shutter-release button. Then, without post-processing, Zuckerman-Hartung employed a consumer-grade lab to print her documentary photography. Finally, overlapping one of the little (A6) pictures upon another she assembled five different projections: working as a geographer to map the spatial distribution of phenomena within her environment.

Molly Zuckerman-Hartung @ Julius Caesar

"Scrying," meaning an effort to gain knowledge through object-assisted visualization, is the title she's chosen for her show. Here, in lieu of a crystal ball, Zuckerman-Hartung has found the glass of an optical viewfinder, and lens elements, through which to gaze. And, mounted upon the gallery walls, a record of her objective, albeit Cyclopean, "vision" is available for public consumption.

In contrast, a low platform in the center of the space contains a collection of what the artist refers to as "scries." Said objects are small-diameter metal and plastic lids, each containing a little nonobjective abstract painting. These peculiar products look like the work of Zuckerman-Hartung's hand; they offer no explanation for their being, other than their maker. Whatever it is that Zuckerman-Hartung, or any other observer, "sees" in the scries is subjective.

Molly Zuckerman-Hartung @ Julius Caesar

While linked by a circular framing device (lens/lid) and a rectangular presentation (print/platform) the whole is otherwise characterized by a rough juxtaposition of the literal to the fantastic. And, the strongest connection between (a) and (b) is cleverly conceptual: it's usually from brief glimpses only, each colored by our imperfections, that we're able to cobble together some framework of understanding...

Molly Zuckerman-Hartung
November 7 - 28, 2010
Julius Caesar Gallery
3311 W. Carroll
Chicago, IL

Molly Zuckerman-Hartung,

Jason Foumberg's November 2010 review in NewCity,

Alicia Eler's April 2008 review in Time Out Chicago,

MW Capacity's December 2010 blurb and comments,

- Paul Germanos

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