group show 47
I’ve never seen Star Wars in its entirety. Every time I’ve tried to watch it, from childhood to just last week, I’ve made it about 30 minutes in before dozing off into the comfort of whatever floor or sofa I was beneath me. But I’ve seen Spaceballs and that Family Guy ‘Star Wars’ episode, so I claim to get the “cultural references” whenever it comes up in conversation. Fake it ‘til you make it, with little chance that I will see the full movie in this lifetime, but I’m totally familiar with the controversy over Jar Jar Binks, Pizza the Hut still makes me laugh, and I’m a sucker for space ice cream so I’m almost halfway there. Which leads to Humble Arts Foundation’s latest group show: Space Jamz.
Group Show # 47: Space Jamz, which features one image per photographer, like many of our exhibitions, looks at outer space through a media-fogged pair of beer goggles. Divorced from the full context of the artists’ complete body of work (and we encourage you, friends, readers, and people of influence to explore each of their work further), each image in this exhibition serves as a constellation point: a hodge-podge of film, pop culture and literary references to the interstellar. Amelia Bauer, Jessica Harvey, Maurice Depestre and Oscar Henderson-Pennington’s barren landscapes, for example, are reminiscent of Star Trek or Flash Gordan’s Martian territories, despite being shot in North American terrain. Krum Brice and Jacob Haupt’s hilarious photographs of aliens may owe more to The Outer Limits, and other early sci- fi series and movies than any scientific attempt to explore galaxies above, while Lydia McCarthy, Ian Kline, Alexander Harding, and Julia Rene Jones point to classic, terrifying representations of alien abduction.
While this selection of nearly eighty images may not unlock the secrets of the galaxy, nor will it help us to understand the universe with greater clarity, it may illustrate how photography can function as its own parallel representation.