Centered around the transformations of places and objects as witnessed through delimited fields of vision, the immediate worlds of these images take on a mythopoeic figuration through what is not so immediately perceivable. Like Bloom and Dedalus’ hallucinatory transformations of places and objects as witnessed through the specter of night, the veiling darkness inherent in all of the show’s works alludes to a similar disengagement between what is rational and what appears not. There is a slightly noir character in each of the show’s works: Lewis Baltz’s disquietingly lit Mercedes in a garage in North Wall from New Industrial Parks; Robert Adams’ deadpan shot of overgrown foliage on a moonlit sidewalk from Summer Nights; the vaporous cloud at the end of the dirt road in Henry Wessel’s New Mexico, 1968; the lone figure running away from the reach of the camera flash in John Divola’s As Far as I Could Get.
The poetic strangeness of these night images are furthered by the absence of humanity within them. The paintings of Dike Blair and Shirley Irons depict night as areas of disuse or lonely travel, and Mark Ruwedel’s image of a particularly optimistic –and seemingly empty- house in the desert points toward the uncanny. The show also represents the first viewing in the United States of the work of the late British photographer Michael Ormerod, who is represented in the show by a scene depcting a drive-in theater in the background, taken in the America west of which the artist recurringly explored in his short life.