Nick Kline presents “Gilgo Beach,” opening at Brooklyn’s Open Source Gallery on September 8, 2012. The exhibit emphasizes the site of Open Source Gallery itself, a former residential two-car garage sitting virtually at the entrance to the Ocean Parkway.
Over the last fifteen years, the “Ocean Parkway Serial Killer” targeted sex workers, leaving at least ten dead bodies along a short stretch of dense brush by Gilgo Beach, Long Island. Kline, intrigued by the news story, generated the photographs for this exhibition by walking the dunes of Gilgo Beach and making castings of the prickly grass and barren landscape. Similar to earlier bodies of work, Kline was motivated by news photographs, especially those of forensic detectives combing the area in search of evidence. His work forcefully captures the strange quality of both presence and absence, the unknown subject resonating on numerous levels.
To generate images, Kline uses a process that starts by hand mixing a rubber silicone compound and adhering it to sites such as architectural facades and objects. This creates detailed imprints in the rubber, which he then photographs and prints at large-scale. The gallery space has been brightened with lights and polyurethane to create the impression of a private collection of personal trophies housed in the cool space of a crime lab. These visually complex photographs attempt to give voice to the murder victims in this case: individuals whose lives are invisible to much of society.