Utopian Mirage: Social Metaphors in Contemporary Photography and Film

The exhibition catalogue brings together work by contemporary artists working in photography and film whose images examine landscape, cityscapes, architecture, interiors, residential communities, and fictional scenes that serve as social indicators and metaphors for failed utopian ideals. Utopia, the notion of an ideal society, imagines a place or a community where social contradictions are annulled in a collective dream in which peace and harmony are perfected. The artists whose work is included in Utopian Mirage, revisit these dreams today, only to discover that they have often been overtaken by the dystopian realities of urban decay, corruption, loss of innocence, disregard for natural resources, and nature’s entropic cycles. Many artists working today are using photography as staged tableaux that provide hopeful antidotes to the prevailing view of the world as a place of danger and despair. Others are interested in depicting a loss of hope and virtue in current attitudes about the state of the world today and in our ideas about the future. The work in the publication examines romantic notions of the human race living in harmony with nature through the lens of a decidedly post-romantic contemporary social reality. The publication features an essay by curator Mary-Kay Lombino along a complete exhibition checklist and illustrations of works by the following participating artists: Tom Bamberger, Edward Burtynsky, Gregory Crewdson, Rineke Dijkstra, J. Bennett Fitts, Carlos Garaicoa, Chris Gergley, Beate Gütschow, Eirik Johnson, Soo Kim, Justine Kurland, Richard Misrach, Katherine Newbegin, Clare Richardson, Mark Sanderson, Susan Silton, Alex Slade, Joel Sternfeld, and Althea Thauberger.

48 pages with 44 illustrations

Exhibition: May 25–July 29, 2007

Price: $5.00

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