Telling Your Story at Photoworks

Telling Your Story

Photoworks’ online exhibit Telling Your Story consists of “Eight Artists, Eight Stories” created by members of a 2020 class led by Ernesto Bazan, a photographer with extensive experience in Europe and Latin America. The “stories” in the exhibit are all elliptical; none include any explanatory text, leaving the photographic images to speak for themselves. The decision to be wordless undercuts the most enigmatic of the eight collections: Karen Keating’s images of what appear to be tattered and burnt American flags. Without an explanation, it’s difficult to avoid befuddlement at what could have produced this result. As for the other collections, documentary photographs of children are a common theme, with Joan Lederer and Rebecca Wiltshire each turning to color, while Marc Pfeiffer leverages ethereal black-and-white to pay clear homage to the celebrated work of Sally Mann. But the finest collections in the exhibit come from collections that skip the “story” altogether and revel instead in their basic visual nature. One series, by Carolina Zumaran-Jones, features botanical images taken at night; the petals’ fragility is heightened by the blackness of the photographs’ backgrounds, which invoke the drama of Dutch masters paintings. The other, by Guillermo Hakim, offers close-ups of glass bottles whose surfaces and interiors exude a thoroughly unexpected sensuality. The exhibition is available indefinitely online at Free.