Dark matter is a kind of matter hypothesized in astronomy and cosmology to account for gravitational effects that appear to be the result of invisible mass. Dark matter cannot be seen directly with telescopes; evidently it neither emits nor absorbs light or other electromagnetic radiation at any significant level. It is otherwise hypothesized to simply be matter that is not reactant to light. Instead, the existence and properties of dark matter are inferred from its gravitational effects on visible matter.
Dark Matter is a metaphor for the unknown we face.
This exhibit includes work pertaining to the Dark Matter of Self, history, memory, and the psychological fragments of our being. This show explores a kind of collective fear and wonder of the unknown.
Using the antique process of wet-plate collodion in which he makes his own emulsions, plates, and cameras, Tom Delooza creates still lives and tableaus featuring himself. While they stem from acting out youthful hopes and dreams in a kind of playful way, these cinematic triptychs also portray an element of the dark and dangerous with a heavy reference to history. His Fighter Pilot conjures up an image of war and potential threat. The explorative reference of space and ocean in Astronaut and Deep Sea Diver remind us of just how much we don’t know, while the at times humorous Outlaws delves into the palpitating fear of being alone and on the run. And then there is Icarus, depicting the tragic mythological figure whose wings melt upon getting too close to the sun.
Tom Santelli also uses still life and tableau to explore his subject matter. His world is one of the psychological underpinnings of the body, memory and history. Santelli’s images often seemed informed by a scientist’s lab through the lens of the artist. His work, mostly traditional silver gelatin prints that are varnished to invoke an aged aesthetic, conjure up religious references as well as the scientifically experimental and fetishistic aspects of object and body.
Santelli’s Untitled: View of a Secret series asks us to think about relationships of object and memory. It incorporates many degrees of physicality from the organic to the plastic. Much the same with the tryptic which features El Sagrado Corazon (The Sacred Heart), flanked by Mata del anima sola 1 and 2 (Tree of the Lonely Soul). In this piece we could see a reference to the innocence and literal heart of the Christ figure with the photo of the child while the trees of the Lonely Souls are of the adult male and female, perhaps suggesting a darker side of adulthood. Another image which invokes biblical reference is Psalm. This diptych envisions a sort of transgender Adam and Eve, faceless in their black masks and seemingly in the midst of their creation led or ruled by a flock of innocent, or perhaps malevolent, sheep. Santelli further explores the dark side of the artist in Pygmallion’s Dream. In mythology, Pygmallion created a master sculpture of a woman (Gallatea). He lost all interest in women and fell in love with his own creation.
Taking on the themes of transformation and scientific experimentation, Julie Pamkowski explores ideas of deformation in her photographs. Her plastic still lives become fleshy on close inspection and seem like direct scans of deformities and mutations from a lab. They touch on our fears of what exists or could exist. In images such as Cave, Flip n’ Fold, and Body Flop, we are exposed to transformations that are beyond our knowing. But in her images Cluster and Cluster Face we are presented with images that explore the depths of a kind of mutation, perhaps serving as a metaphor for our own human psychological deformities.