In photography, the march of technology goes on, but good old black-and-white imagery never loses its authority. At least, that’s the conclusion one draws from a dual exhibit at Glen Echo’s PhotoWorks Gallery featuring David Myers and Harvey Kupferberg. In 2008, Myers lovingly documented burial places in Cairo colloquially known as the City of the Dead, but which are also home to hundreds of thousands of the city’s living poor. Given this context, Myers’ images are unexpectedly placid rather than bustling—-a bird taking flight in a peaceful courtyard, a tomb keeper walking down a leafy brick path (at right), close-ups of gravestones and marble tomb carvings, washerwomen doing their daily work, and a man, cut off at the shoulders, wearing simple clothes and carefully fingering an old, leatherbound volume—-an image that must have required deep trust to make.
Meanwhile Kupferberg chronicles the American southwest—-fertile territory for generations of photographers, but in Kupferberg’s case, with some pleasant twists. Kupferberg not only captures the mesmerizing, decontextualized swirls of canyon walls but also the delicate flaking of rock towering over a small, ancient, stone structure (bottom). Particularly striking is an image of vegetation-pocked sand dunes (top); the plants cast long shadows, including one that resembles a delicate brushstroke. A painted desert indeed.
Through Jan. 7, 2013, at 7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo, Md. Open 1 p.m. to 8 pm Mondays and Sundays, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays, and any time when a class is underway. That includes most evenings, and many Saturdays and weekdays. To inquire call (301) 634-2274.