One of the beautiful things about photography is the medium allows for the capture of the world as it is, unaffected.
The exhibition at Plaza Midwood’s Light Factory, its seventh “Annuale” (through June 6), juried by former chief curator Dennis Kiel, features photography that does an impeccable job of capturing that quiet moment in time, where our connection to the world around us is reduced to a simple daydream.
Micah Cash’s “Norris” is one of the first photos the very full Light Factory gallery space offers upon entering. Cash is an MFA grad from the University of Connecticut and frequently featured artist in publications 10 Journal, Light Leaked, F-Stop Magazine, Dotphotozine, Another Place and LensCulture.
“My photographs bear witness,” says Cash, “to the social narratives within landscapes altered in the name of progress, utility and communal welfare.”
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These altered landscapes are often home to dilapidated industrial sprawl. “Norris” is no different. Here, rust, concrete and white water combine to make a slightly disorientating two-toned abstract composition – one that smartly disguises its subject – turning a dam outlet into a pure expression of the relationship between space and color. “Norris’” companions in Cash’s series “Dangerous Waters” share its sharp composition and subdued mood.
As the exhibition continues, each artist trades subjects – all focusing on humanity’s unique relationship to the world around us, but each taking turns shifting the lens from the individual to the surrounding environment.
Charlotte native Beth Lilly’s series, “Lost in Thought,” plays a great role in creating this dynamic across the exhibition. “Lost in Thought” features candid photographs of drivers and passengers alike, lost in thought, mid-transit.
The exhibit’s other offerings, like local photographer Carl R. Wilson’s window reflections, fit nicely with one another thematically. These photographs feature familiar Charlotte neighborhood locales captured in the window reflections of local businesses.
What the “Annuale” lacks in excitement it makes up for in depth and emotional tension. The collective tone of the show is a quiet one, a reposeful sermon on our effect on the world around us, and the world’s influence in return. Whether the lens is pointed out ahead, toward the horizon, or back at us, the resulting photographs from this collection of artists are reflective, contemplative and challenging.
This story was produced as part of the Charlotte Arts Journalism Alliance.
Light Factory ‘Annuale’
Through June 6, The Light Factory, 1817 Central Ave., lightfactory.org.