6/2/13 1:05 PM
More often than not, what you think you’re seeing is not actually what you’re really seeing. The tension that arises from this disjunction can be productive, and so it is in Jessica Z Schafer’s “cinephile” series. Schafer’s diptychs each focus on an atmospheric site somewhere in the Upper Midwest; some are rural, some urban, but all are bereft of people and have the feel of an earlier era. She arranges these to loosely resemble fragments of filmstrips taken from either still or moving cameras, though in fact she used neither to produce the images. An iPhone app is her medium of choice, or rather convenience. This may seem ironic, or even ironically nostalgic, but mostly it is equal parts thoughtful and contemporary, a way of introducing critical elements of slowness and selection into the rapid-fire onslaught of easy images that inundate us daily and threaten continuously to overtake our visual understanding and record of the world that surrounds us.