Friday, February 29, 2008

Go, See

Janet Jarman. Matamoros, Mexico, August 1996; color print. Courtesy of Janet Jarman

Maybe it is the big heavy doors, or the silence that greets you when you step into the Ackland Art Museum in Chapel Hill, but visiting carriers a certain weighted expectation. On my most recent visit I discovered "Picturing the World" a photographic group show pulled from UNC School of Journalism's alumni. There are pictures there that still haunt my memory. Like an unassuming picture of a building-nothing special until you notice a few small figures falling, then you notice a whiff of smoke and you realize you are witnessing the 9-11 Twin Towers Attack, but without the sound, or fury of the memories we all share as a nation. The scale makes you feel like a god standing next to the building- oh but we could have been god's and caught those poor souls falling like leaves of a pin oak. This picture disturbs me still.......

Then there is the picture above; a beautiful young child, illuminated by the morning's sunlight. But the dirt on her face betrays her as not from our safe, clean suburban world, rather she is a poor child living with her family on an Mexican trash dump waiting for the mornings delivery.

To see this works, like traveling, is to have your heart stretched to new dimensions. Be sure to see it before it closes in April, 2008.

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