Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Closing Reception: Being Close to Far Away by Misha Tulek

Join us for the closing reception of Being Close to Far Away, Thursday, January 31st, from 6-10PM. This is your last change to see Tulek's incredible Ice Frames as they melt and disappear during the reception. 

Misha Tulek is a multi-media capture artist whose work focuses on social issues. His topics range from trash-pickers in Nicaragua's largest landfill to remote arctic landscapes where Stalin's Gulag prison camps once stood. His work often passes the hardline of documentary realism in order to weave a more nuanced and holistic approach to reportage. Built into Misha's work is a constant reassessment and critique of photography as practice and conceptual discourse. Being Close to Far Away is a recent body of work which focuses on a remote location in Russia which once belonged to a network of Stalinist era prison camps collectively known as the Gulag Archipelago. This body of work wrestles with the difficultly of comprehending and photographing the Gulag site which no longer shows any trace of it's former capacity for torture, suffering, and atrocity.

Being Close to Far Away is a multimedia exhibition inspired by history, family story, and personal experience. In addition to photographs and video, a major element of the exhibition is installation pieces called ice frames. The ice frame art pieces are inspired by a story told by the artist’s great-grandfather who constructed windows from ice. In the arctic gulag, there was no glass. Instead of living in the dark, the inmates invented a way to use ice in place of glass to allow light into their prison barracks. The ice windows lasted several weeks before they needed to be replaced. The artist has borrowed this technique to freeze photographs he recently took while visiting the Gulag his great-grandfather survived. The pieces are a play on memory, history, and the fictive power of creativity to revive the past into a flourishing present.  
Jen Burger
Gallery Director, Black Radish Studio