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The Bends

by Glen Helfand

Camerawork: A Journal of Photographic Art-Timekeepers, Volume 27, No. 1, Spring/Summer 2000, pp. (-18), (+18), (+19).​

where are we?​


It looks like we're standing on the roof and feeling a bit woozy. The view up here gives everything a new perspective. The parked cars seem like shiny toys with miniature accessories visible inside their hatchback windows. The street lanes are delineated with horizontal marks that resemble lines on a chalkboard. Foliage bridges the boulevard, arching form the stately building across the street. You might notice the ornate architectural details on the building, which are not as cohesive as they initially appear. It's as if two structures were grafted together, abruptly but almost seamlessly. Not only that, but as we look down, the building presents itself with full frontal exposure, as if the street had folded down the middle.

where were we?​

The title of the Kathryn Dunlevie piece just described is an address: One Lexington Avenue. It looks like Manhattan, but not the one we're used to. She renders the setting with a bunch of conjoined pieces, a collage of time and place. "Dissolving" and "sliding askew" are two terms she uses to describe her images, and they are two concepts that warp our perceptions. Dunlevie appears to subscribe to the postmodern notion that time no longer follows a linear sequence, images with history are part of the present, and the future is predicated on the past. Fred Astaire dances with vacuum cleaners he's never touched in commercials made years after his death. Dunlevie pulls her images from various locations, times of day, and perhaps even eras. Some are photographic, some rendered by hand. Sometimes one seems like the other. She smooths the lines between media and memory as she reconfigures space. Her work is a manifestation of the kind of bendable subjective viewpoints that have become a staple of the modern moment.

and time keeps on slipping into the future.

KATHRYN  DUNLEVIE                                                                  CONTEMPORARY PHOTOGRAPHIC COLLAGE

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