Shut Up and Look

Photography is a gorgeously democratic medium, and it becomes more so each time a teenager buys a cell phone and starts snapping away at the bathroom mirror. In the new century, photographs multiply like tribbles — your MySpace profile, which five years ago could accommodate only ten pics, can now expand without limit. A hundred pictures of your cat licking his nether regions; a thousand of your dog playing in the mud; a million of you and your friends getting twisted. A gazillion galloping, breathless documents of action — “I was here!” they scream. “This happened!”

Well, the photographs currently occupying wall space at Art Expressions are another thing altogether. They are documents of shocking stillness, communicating so intimately that you can imagine the photographer wasn’t there and that this didn’t happen; that the photographs just composed themselves. This is appropriate for an exhibition called “Aperture 8” — an aperture being either an empty space or, in photography, a thing that filters unneeded light. The photographs of Floridian artists Eileen J. Mulvey, Greg Pitts, Katherine Morgan, and Timothy Leistner boil away distractions and get right into the guts of their subjects. For Pitts, the silent riot of sarcophagi in some overfilled cemetery on the Mediterranean, eternally threatening to spill into the sea; for Morgan, the mysterious blossoms of flowers as strange as edible sea urchins. They are lovely reminders that, for all the pictures in the world, we still haven’t seen everything.

Aperture 8 runs through April 4 at Art Expressions Gallery, found at 1438 NE 26th St. in Wilton Manors. Gallery hours at noon to 8 p.m., and admission is free. For more info, call 954-537-9000, or visit artexpressions.tk.
March 27-April 4, noon, 2009

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Brandon K. Thorp