The Eerie, Mesmerizing Photos of “72 Grams per Pixel” at Gallery B
The exhibit “72 Grams per Pixel” is “presented by” FolioLink, a product for displaying photographs on HD video screens, so the show is even more commercially oriented than most gallery exhibits. Fortunately, the exhibit doesn’t stint on the art.
The screens in question portray the work of three artists—Raul Jarquin, Joe Cameron and Laurie Hatch—as sequential still images. Jarquin offers moody renderings of Rock Creek Park (bottom) that are more accessible than his printed images on an adjoining wall, while Cameron produces black-and-white, somewhat abstracted images with bold forms.
Hatch, who lives at the University of California’s Lick Observatory, photographs observatories and the skies and scenery that envelop them (top). The observatories become somewhat monotonous, so the purer sky images are more compelling, particularly her long-exposure photographs in which the stars move slowly in circles.
Stephen Crowley, as a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer for the New York Times, has documented Washington power players and overseas battlefields, but at Gallery B he offers a series that's at once humbler and more mesmerizing—everyday objects half-buried in asphalt, elevating daily detritus to the status of totemic relic.
In one photpgraph, Crowley documents a McDonald’s coffee stirrer broken into four parts, zigzagging like a big dipper amid an expanse of what could pass for stars. Other images include a Capitol dome eerily receding into the pitch (above), a sprinkling of six identical beer-can pull-tabs, and a belt buckle that has morphed into an off-kilter clock face.
The exhibit’s most unnerving images are by Muriel Hasbun (a doll reclining in a seemingly discarded car seat) and Pablo Ortiz Monasterio (an empty tricycle shown out of focus and partially cropped).
Then there’s Terri Weifenbach, who is best known as a photographer but has increasingly been producing thoughtful video work. Her minute-and-a-half-long video at Gallery B, of a rippling surface of water, is captivatingly hypnotic, culminating in an almost imperceptible shift of focus that produces an unexpected payoff at the end.
In an exhibit that tries to bridge the gap between photography and video, Weifenbach is the apotheosis.
Through May 24 at Gallery B, 7700 Wisconsin Ave., Suite E, Bethesda, Md. Wed–Sat 12-6.