Sunday, August 28, 2016
Hirshhorn at the Sackler
When: through September 18, 2016
When I approached this photography exhibit, I was greeted by a fixture made of cathode ray tubing hanging from the ceiling - not a good sign I thought to myself. Happily, this is not an indication of what follows.
Ahmed Mater is a photographer who is documenting Saudi Arabia's transformation from an agrarian society to an oil-based economy. Like all societal changes, much is gained and much is lost along the way, and Mater's photographs present a view of that.
My favorite photo was one called "Nature Morte." It's a color photograph with the look of a painting. It's of a room containing a wonderful red chair with red pillows. Outside the window, all is light and action and activity. Inside, all is cool, calm serenity. A great juxtaposition.
Towards the end of the exhibit is a set of slide viewers. I think they were meant to show older photographs with newer ones superimposed on them. Without being able to pick them up and look through, I couldn't really tell. Touching was not permitted, so I tried to look through, but they were placed at such a low height that even I (not a tall person by anyone's measure) was stooping over to see. Not a happy placement.
Verdict: Overall, not a bad show. If you like photography, it's worth a look.