May 7th - May 29th
“Lens flare” is a phenomena in photography and cinema that occurs when non-image forming light enters and refracts within the glass components of a camera lens before reaching the camera’s film or digital sensor. The visible artifacts typically manifest themselves as starbursts, rings, or geometric shapes in a row across the image. These artifacts are a common obstacle in photography, usually suppressed through the use of coated lenses, hoods, and lighting technologies. However, the use of lens flare as a signifier of the presence of a documenting camera is suffuse within filmic culture today as a tool for lending reality to an otherwise fabricated digital world; in CGI sequences lens flare gives the illusion of a camera filming a scene that was digitally fabricated inside a computer.
Greg Curtis’ exhibition Event October Horizon at Monte Vista Projects is an installation of framed chromogenic prints wherein the mechanics of the camera lens itself are the sole object. With a camera pointed at a black backdrop in the artist’s studio, a light was pointed into various lenses to produce and record isolated lens flares. The resulting images are at once diminutive and expansive: portraits of the camera’s own machinations presented as vast extraterrestrial events. The images are paired with identically sized black monochromatic chromogenic prints that contain no information from the camera, pointing to the spaces between still images that construct cinematic sequences. The installed panorama consists of self-reflexive operations made with the fundamental apparatus of the entertainment industry, isolating and foregrounding what is usually considered at best an aesthetic flourish, and at worst an error on the part of the photographer.
Greg Curtis’ works in photography, video, and animation have recently been exhibited at the Conley Gallery at CSU Fresno; The Institute of Jamais Vu, London UK; Elephant, Los Angeles CA; Hedreen Gallery at Seattle University; Concord, Los Angeles CA; Weekend, Los Angeles CA; Cirrus Gallery, Los Angeles CA; Land of Tomorrow, Lexington KY; and Dan Graham, Los Angeles CA, among others. He received an MFA from California Institute of the Arts and is based in Los Angeles.