Photographers Self-Exploration Revealed in Minotaur in the Mirror

October 16th, 2008 by Adam

Photo caption:
The Woman Inside the Man, Arno Rafael Minkkinen, copy negative silver gelatin print of original Polaroid.

PLYMOUTH, N.H. — Works by 17 photographers share the artists’ self-exploration in Minotaur in the Mirror—Artists Focusing the Lens on the Self, an exhibition October 22-December 12 at Plymouth State University’s Karl Drerup Art Gallery.

The exhibition is curated by PSU adjunct faculty member Chehalis Hegner, who said the exhibition celebrates a very particular journey into uncharted territory – an exploration of the artists’ own body, mind and spirit.

“As soon as early humans began catching glimpses of themselves in still pools of water, visual self-exploration began,” said Hegner. The contemporary artists represented in Minotaur in the Mirror “employ the auto-portrait device in order to travel down into the self,” offering several types of self-portraits within the genre. Some are autobiographical studies, others reveal only what the artist chooses. Others purge pent up emotions and still others find the courage to reveal hidden personal secrets.

Hegner says that self-portrait work often embodies the classic hero’s journey, where the Minotaur, half man-half beast, dwelling in the maze-like labyrinth is sought out and slain, “after which, real proof of the pilgrimage is transformed into a work of art.”

Franz Nicolay likens the camera to Daedalus’ labyrinth of never-ending choices. “Light gives form to this insatiable half-man/half-beast of the unconscious. Trapped within the camera and embedded in film and memory, light holds the secret, for those willing to risk, of unmasked truth in the extended moment. And it gives form to what is not known, as we make our way to the center,” Nicolay said.

Amy Greenleaf’s self-portraits are 8”x10″ argyrotype prints re-photographed while immersed in streams and rivers. The final images are giclee prints. Fragments of her figure are revealed and concealed by the abstract veil created by the water and light. The reflection and refraction of light creates an abstract barrier through which the viewer must negotiate in order to understand the image.

Arno Rafael Minkkinen looks at and makes art because of its ability to teach him about both his inner psycho-spiritual life and the individuals that make up the society he lives in. “Making art is about personal and cultural evolution. It is about leaving traces of existence, and proof of life,” said Minkkinen.

The complete list of exhibitors includes, John Borstel, Ashley Clark, Amy Greenleaf, Cig Harvey, Davide Medri, Jess Kramer, Lou Jones, Arthur Ganson, Adam Gooder, Jason Goodman, John Goodman, Lana Z Caplan, Minkkinen, Henrieke Strecker, Seth Riskin, Nicolay and
T.W. Li.

A gallery reception celebrating the opening of Minotaur in the Mirror will be held from 4–6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 22, at the Karl Drerup Art Gallery in the Draper and Maynard Building on South Main Street in Plymouth.

For gallery information call (603) 535-2614 or log on to plymouth.edu/gallery. Gallery hours are Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Wednesday, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. and by appointment. The gallery is closed Sundays and most holidays.

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