Upon entering Dead of Winter: New Holga Photographs I felt immediately overwhelmed by the existential loneliness that inhabited these images. The show, featuring the work Prof. John Shimon’s eleven photography students, includes an eclectic body of work yet still presents a stark and surreal picture of the winter we know too well here at Lawrence.
In preparation for this show Shimon asked his students to consider the Ingmar Bergman film, Winter’s Light for both aesthetic and emotional inspiration. The film, which takes place in the isolated Swedish countryside in the middle of winter, explores the psychology of questioning one’s faith in God. The film conveys an emotional and environmental isolation that can certainly be felt in the student’s work. With few exceptions, the images are devoid of people and instead focus on the way that the cold winter landscape obscures and abstracts itself. This is perhaps seen best in the work of junior studio art major Molly Froman, who’s pair of images “Fire” and “& Ice” show a stove in a middle of a snow bank and shopping cart lying in a pool of ice respectively. Froman’s images are filled with a feeling of strange frenzy and dark humor that encapsulates the angst and beauty of Winter. The work of each student presents a sharp and distinct experience that makes for an exciting and thought provoking show.
The show is closing soon so be sure to stop by the Mudd Gallery on the third floor to experience it before it closes.