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LAURA DODSON (USA)
FACES IN SQUARES

EXHIBITION SUPPORTED BY THE AMERICAN CENTER / THESSALONIKI
17/2 - 9/3 1998
METAMORFOSIS GALLERY
TSIMISKI 128 / 285-071
TU-FR 10.00 - 14.00, 18.00-21.00 SÁ 10.00 - 14.00



In writing about Laura Dodson's photographs one is inclined to speak of them in terms of portraiture. They are, after all, photographs of people and blatantly so. Yet it is a misleading inclination, for Dodson's work cannot be considered portraiture in the traditional sense of the term. Although we may recognize certain "types" in her work, Dodson's models are not individuals as such. We don't learn anything specific about the men, women and children populating her photographs. All too aware of the artist's presence, Dodson's subjects counter it with a self-consciousness that sometimes borders on aggression. This is work with little room or patience for give and take. It does, however, divulge a fascination with subterfuge and artifice.
Dodson isn't interested in quirks of personality so much as in creating a psychologically fraught ambiance. Indeed, the true subject of these photographs may be how space is transmuted by motion and light. Using a long exposure, Dodson compresses disparate, if short-lived, fragments of time. This staggering of the photographic process imbues movement –sometimes dramatic, often not– with a fleeting, but decidedly felt, presence. This results in the ghostly after-images that give the work its tension and vulnerability. How sure can we be of Dodson's figures for example, when they are often at the point of dissipating altogether? Yet the blurs in her photos aren't just intimations of flux, they're relics of it as well. Photography, we are reminded, is a static if not wholly factual medium.
Simultaneously transient and immovable, Dodson's photographs reach a tenuous compromise between inhabited spaces and space as an entity unto itself. In doing so, they locate an oddly lyrical slant to the anomie that could be the hallmark of our age.

Mario Naves

Laura Dodson is a photographer and art critic. She has exhibited her work in Greece and in America. She has been teaching Photography in Athens since 1989.