It was a group of sweaty individuals that crowded the sidewalk, smoking, chatting and generally being genial that greeted us for In Cold Blood; a dual exhibition split or shared between Mathais Kessler and Andrea Galvani. Kessler's work took up most of the space, the Y-gallery where the show runs from now until October 8th was underground, and hot. Ironic, one might say for a show called In Cold Blood, but I found it strangely appropriate viewing Kessler's work of an iceberg melting, or his small instillation of a mirror that melts as you look at it. Watching the mirror sweat it seemed right to be sweating an uncomfortable, we were all loosing moisture. Kessler is influenced by romance era landscape painting, and uses that influence on his work with icescapes, taking what would be a romance landscape and changing it into a light box, or a shadow. In the words of Kessler “Photography robbed painting of it's realism, and allowed it to become more abstract”
Galvani's most prominent piece in the show is a large print of what looks like someone standing on a boat with a flashlight – and it is just that, but speaking with Galvani I learned that it was just one of a series, and a moment of time captured, now on display. The weakness of this show is that although the print is excellent – we are never told the story.
First Galvani developed/invented a flashlight that could pierce the Ionosphere then travel through space. Galvani's other work in the show is a photograph of the northern lights, which also take place in the Ionosphere. The importance and beauty of the flashlight is that the light from it escapes earth, and then travels forever in space.
So, flashlight in hand Galvani set out on a voyage with a crew; charging the flashlight with solar panels. At the end of this long voyage, when there was enough power, an engineer took the light and panels and turned on the flashlight, moving it up slowly until the power ran out.
So, this seemingly insignificant print of someone shining a light, is actually part of a huge piece that is still traveling through the universe. When, once I had heard the story, I went back to examine the pieces I was moved, and understood the significance.