Alone Together by William Bridges
Since the 1800’s, social critics have commented on the spirit of anonymity that pervades city life around the world. But what does contemporary urban isolation look like? The widespread diffusion of technology in the form of hand held devices with their opportunities for escape into a three by four-inch self-absorbing world have only accelerated the trend of indifference to the surrounding social world. According to Bridges, “From another perspective, cell phones are simply another prop that allows us to share personal space with strangers. A book, a bag lunch, or a strategically placed jacket can be as effective as suit of armor (not to mention the cabin of an automobile) in protecting our inner selves from those in close proximity. At the same time, our twenty-first century eyes understand that the presence of a nearby ‘other’ provides context for a different interpretation.” Seen from this angle, Bridges’ images provide a window into the unique urban activity or project of “performing aloneness.”
Porches of Jeffersonville, Indiana by Jeffrie Chirchirillo
While attending his cousin’s wedding in the southern Indiana river town of Jeffersonville, Jeffrie Chirchirillo awoke very early one morning and explored the neighborhood with his camera. He was taken in by the morning light and how it showed off the porches found on almost every home, no matter what its size or the owner’s economic status. Most had swings and were decorated with flowers, American flags and items of whimsy. Some were decorated with the latest indoor/outdoor furniture while others gave old furniture new uses. According to Chirchirillo, “The porches of Jeffersonville are so different from those in the Chicago area I could not stop taking pictures.” He goes on to say that “Porches are a very common feature of pre WWII southern homes that were built in the days before air conditioning became economical and widely available. A porch offers an escape from the hot summer air inside a home. Porches shade homes from direct sun. They provide places to sit, relax, socialize and watch the comings and goings on the street.”
The exhibition will be on display August 3-28, 2017. An opening reception for the artists will be held on Saturday, August 5, 5-7 p.m. An artist talk/discussion is scheduled for Thursday, August 17 at 7 p.m. All events are free and open to the public.