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Feel Good Pictures
July 1 - August 21Free
As part of Pioneer Square’s Deconstructed Art Fair, Specialist presents Feel Good Pictures, new works by Laura Hart Newlon. In this exhibition, Newlon draws from two bodies of work–Heavy Focus and postures and slips–which center the persistence of the haptic in both digital and analogue image production.
Heavy Focus, a single-channel video, weaves together ideas of tactility, visibility and the body, and the material conditions of image-making. Disembodied hands carefully collage and layer physical photographic prints, while other images are manipulated within a digital workspace. Drawing from a wide variety of idiosyncratic sources including architectural theory, vintage beauty tutorials, phenomenology, archaeological studies of Venus figurines, stock images and the artist’s own photographic archives, Heavy Focus explores seeing as a sensual act that plays out both tenderly and forcefully upon bodies.
postures and slips, an ongoing series of glass plate positives, extends the language of collage by marrying the 19th century wet plate collodion process with gathered windows on digital screens. Draped materials, abbreviated bodies and virtual workspaces combine in tenuous arrangements to suggest provisional order and structure, while examining both historical and contemporary image production with insight and humor. Inscribed in glass, the resulting ambrotypes and tintypes strip away context yet root each arrangement in an adamantly material present.
Together, the work in Feel Good Pictures foregrounds the physicality of pictures, seeing as a sensual act, and the embodiment of image production. Through manual manipulation and dexterous manufacture, Newlon reminds us that the virtual is always real, even if it is not always actual.