Next up in our Artist Profile series is Karl Baden, one of the Mass Cultural Council’s Photography Fellowship awardees who will be showing his work at the upcoming exhibition at the The New Art Center in Newton, MA.
These photographs are from “Roadside Attraction,” a project begun in 2009. They are made from inside cars, both still and in motion.
To sit inside an automobile is to be at the center of an increasingly complex and responsive sort of cell, the physical structure of which constitutes a membrane dividing inside from outside space. Glass acts as both lens and border, forming a perimeter that both restricts and defines the exterior world, flattening and reducing the spaces and places that we normally inhabit in 3 dimensions.
Things happen when the space collapses; the static surfaces of the car interior vie for visual territory with the chaos of materials that make up life on the other side of the membrane. Windows frame a landscape in continuous motion. People are everywhere, gesticulating, lugging shopping bags, pushing strollers, walking dogs, arguing, embracing, or simply standing alone on street corners, lost in thought or watchful, suspicious; they make microsecond-long appearances in storefronts, cafes and other cars before they’re sucked behind like exhaust. Drive on, and all that’s left is the afterimage. Billboards and trucks covered in ads momentarily fill our vision like blazing cinemascope, then just as suddenly bow out and let the drama continue. Meanwhile, we are bombarded with stimuli from inside as well: The radio plays, the CD pops out, the phone buzzes, the seat belt sign flashes, the directional blinks, the heat gauge goes up, the gas gauge goes down. GPS adds another layer, squeezing the landscape into a thin stream of information; “At the next corner, turn left…”. Inside. Outside. The show goes on…
Mass Cultural Council Artist Fellows and Finalist Photography Exhibition
February 28- March 23, 2014
Opening Reception: Friday, February 28, 6-8:30 pm
Artist Talk: Tuesday, March 4, 11am
New Art Center, 61 Washington Park, Newtonville, MA 02460. Gallery hours: Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm; Saturday 1 – 5pm. The exhibition is free, open to the public and accessible to all.