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Synthetic Environments: Bay Area Photographers Collective at the Mina Dresden Gallery

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Members of the Bay Area Photographers Collective are exhibiting at the Mina Dresdan Gallery.

The exhibit is titled Synthetic Environments. If nature is the thesis and culture its antithesis, the work here approaches post-millennial landscape photography as synthesis.

Bulldozers, garbage, graffiti, murals, shopping carts, and other urban detritus share photographic space with greenery and sky. The latter barely peek through. These traditional signifiers of landscape genre disappear under the manufactured gloss of environment.

Most of the artists in this exhibit tackle aspects of urban and suburban environments. Alan George's placid shoppers casually enter the jaws of the consuming beast. Jonah, meet Jaws. It is really nothing more than the gaping front entrance of an outlet called "Souvenir City" inexplicably configured to resemble the open mouth of  a man-eating shark. The pastel off-the-rack outfits of the bait-like customers matches the hues of the bizarre building making them look even more like sugary snacks for the plaster monster. The stars and stripes wave in the breeze atop the fishy building...as does the jolly roger. Heave Ho!

According to the exhibition statement, which can be found together with a preview of work at the BAPC site:

"Living day-to-day in this hyperkinetic 21st century world, it’s hard to find places that are not synthetic. While the “natural” is a revered and sought-after commodity, very little we encounter is in an unmarked or pristine state.

If our world is synthetic and the environments we encounter are manufactured, artificial and put together, what does this say about our place in the world? How does living in a world of artifice affect us? What objects do we revere and what artifacts represent us?"

The participating artists in Synthetic Environments are: David Broom, Tom DeCarlo, Alan George, Eric Larsen, Tom Levin, Eric Malone, Charolette Niel, Ari Salomon, Kay Taneyhill and Kirk Thompson. The exhibit runs through April 29th, 2010.

For more info: Mina Dresden Gallery. 312 Valencia at 14th Street. San Francisco. (415) 863-8312 Open Wdnesday through Saturday 3pm - 7pm during the exhibit and by appointment.

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