group show 43
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

We already know that the holiday season is a significant part of Western culture. It is the cheer – whether commercially inspired or otherwise – that brings people together. group show 43: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, aims to represent the season afresh. Here, we flip the Miracle on 34th Street tradition, showcasing 18 photographs that reflect weird scenes, unexpected moments and utterly mundane angles on joy and festivities. Admittedly, images depicting Kwanzaa, Chanukah, Diwali, etc. are absent, unfortunately betraying our intentions to present a diverse representation of the season. With that in mind: what role does the camera play in defining how we understand the holidays?

Azikiwe Mohammed answers this question with a chilling image of Christmas day at 12:50a.m; Lori Nix stages Christmas (a white one), with a chipmunk, wreath and trailer in tow; and photography duo, Hypes + Mebane, photograph the tools of the trade – a red, netting machine with harsh, jarring light. Hugh Turvey gift X-rays removes childhood mystery and allure; Helge Skovdin’s picture of a women dressed as a wrapped gift introduces a bit of crafty, maximalism; while Sadie Wechsler’s family photograph brings in every odd element imaginable, including a magic carpet, mountains and a worn copy of And Then You DIE by Iris Johansen (of course the protagonist is a photographer).

The 18 photographs in group show 43: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year put forth an aspect of the season that we all experience, but seldom find in photographs.