De Soto Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition by Connie Samaras, Last Contact: Spaceport America and Edge of Twilight, opening March 29 and on view through April 26, 2015. Culled from two recent bodies of work, these photographs spawn a nuanced view of each other.
Spaceport America (2010-11) portrays the quixotically futuristic and simultaneously boarded-up structures of the world’s first commercial space station. Located in the artist’s home state of New Mexico—between towns with names that seem destined for fiction, Truth or Consequences and Las Cruces—Samaras’ images of this hub are framed to underscore the everyday present in this future imaginary. In contrast, the works from Edge of Twilight (2010-present) seem to pulsate with an otherworldliness. Shot at night in an all women, predominantly lesbian retirement community in the southwestern desert, these pictures of RVs, palm trees, and shadows are nearly devoid of human presence and yet palpably signal it.
Pairing these two bodies of work invites formal comparisons that lead to poetic correlations. A majority of the images depict singular structures in barren landscapes. But, despite their visual centrality, the buildings rarely seem to be just that. In both Spaceport America and Edge of Twilight, they might instead be interpreted as nexuses between this world and the next, whether the outer limits of the universe or a mysterious afterlife. Clear, crisp images of singular domes and homes, pathways and trailers, nestled between land and sky, begin to blur into abstraction, suggesting that the borders between categories, too, are less than fixed. Whether shifting from geopolitical to sociocultural terrain, or metaphysical to corporeal allusions, each landscape suggests the seeds of another; an outer space station breeds tenebrous desolation while a modest clutch of trailers suggests a utopic version of togetherness, but neither stakes its claim with certainty.
Connie Samaras is based in Los Angeles and works primarily in photography and moving image. Recent exhibitions (2013-14) include: Dissident Futures, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; The Ceiling Should Be Green, P!, NY; and Free Enterprise: The Art of Citizen Space Exploration, California Museum of Photography. In 2013 a survey show of her work dealing with the future imaginaries of global capital,Tales of Tomorrow (1998-2013), was exhibited at the Armory in Pasadena, Irene Tsatsos, curator. An accompanying catalog, funded by the Warhol Foundation, is available through Artbook/ D.A.P. Spaceport America was originally commissioned by curator Merry Scully at the New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe for the 2012 exhibition Past, Present, and Future. A second installment of Edge of Twilight is currently under production funded by a 2012 grant from Creative Capital.
Gallery hours are from Thursday thru Sunday, noon to 5pm, and by appointment. For images and additional information please contact: Shelley De Soto at firstname.lastname@example.org or 323-253-2255.