An Exhibition Tower for Experimental Photography
In line with our curatorial themes of exploring light, vision and transcendence, the gallery was named for an inscription at Carl G. Jung's Bollingen Tower depicting the alchemist figure Telesphoros: a caped homunculus bearing a lantern accompanied by the words:
"Time is a child — playing like a child — playing a board game — the kingdom of the child. This is Telesphoros, who roams through the dark regions of this cosmos and glows like a star out of the depths. He points the way to the gates of the sun and to the land of dreams."
Natalja Kent upturns the conventions of photography by removing the camera altogether. These sensuous, large scale color fields are inhabited by dynamic geometric abstractions that seem suspended mid-motion. Angular bands of brightness and shadow clash and gather with a dynamism suggestive of an animating force that remains just out of sight. That generative motion is the artist herself, who produces these images by the direct application of light to the paper in the darkroom. Using flashlights and colored gels, she dances around the plane of each piece building the images cumulatively with beams of light that activate the silver halide crystals to produce jewel-deep colors on the paper.
Kent’s work presses the tension between photography’s documentary and expressive capacities, and in Movement Artifact she pulls the creative act directly into that exploration. For this series the artist brought her mindfulness practice into the studio by beginning work on each piece with a body scan meditation. In this way, each of these images is the open record of a moment of embodied intuition that the viewer can trace through the rich sensory experience of the photograph.
Natalja Kent is based in Los Angeles, CA. Dedicated to collaboration and feminist social practice, she has worked in groups such as the Los Angeles Women’s Center for Creative Work, Assume Vivid Astro Focus, The Dirt Palace, and The Good Good. She has exhibited and performed at Tate Liverpool, The Carpenter Center for The Visual Arts at Harvard, Hiromi Yoshi Gallery, and MOMA PS1.