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"Disappearing act," Cate McQuaid,, March 24, 2014 


  1. Other highlights from the show include... Georgie Friedman’s fantastic video, “Snow Study III,” of snowflakes whirling unpredictably against the night sky, dancing, on the verge of vanishing.

"Brink v1 @ Mills Gallery," Mallory Craig, Boston Art Underground, April 12, 2014


  1. Georgie Friedman’s experimental photographs concretize a transience not otherwise known. ...Her series of images show the sky, bits of cloud, and feel paradoxically serene despite her chaotic methodology.


BRINK v1, catalog, Lexi Lee Sullivan, Mills Gallery, Boston Center for the Arts, 2014

Georgie Friedman: p. 4, 6, 12-13, 18, back cover

view or download pdf (3.1 mb)




Nothing heightens the senses like travel. Sunsets are more gorgeous. Memories are forged. Then it’s back home, and time away seems like a mirage.

“BRINK v1,” the inaugural exhibition in a planned series celebrating emerging artists at the Boston Center for the Arts’ Mills Gallery, spotlights photographers who work on the road, or make art based on travel, in the tradition of Robert Frank.

Guest curator Lexi Lee Sullivan finds a lyrical dissonance between photography’s ability to fix a place in time in a single image and the aching knowledge that time can never be fixed. She ties the transient lifestyle of some of the artists to the quickly dissolving present moment.

Even some of the art in the show won’t last long. Cole Caswell makes large-scale tintypes on flimsy newsprint. One, “Transient Salesman,” hangs on the brick wall outside the gallery, mounted with homemade glue. Already, it’s peeling and fading. The fierce, grimy salesman, with hair in his eyes and a cigarette in his mouth, poses gripping his backpack and duffel bag.

Caswell’s photos depict people in the Southwest who live off the land and sometimes through a barter economy — like his medium, they take us back to the 19th century. Enlarged to 40 inches by 50 inches, these tintypes aren’t intimate keepsakes. They feel otherworldly, imposingly of this time, yet of another. Their wet-plate emulsion has a painterly quality. An orchard scene, “Self-Propagating Orange Trees,” swims with drops and smudges; real netting over the trees might be the swipe of a broad brush.

Scott Patrick Wiener doesn’t appear to give a fig about permanence in his series “I Want the One I Can’t Have.” He exposes to sunlight transparencies on construction paper. The prints fade quickly; the gallery makes new ones each week to hang beside the originals, for contrast. Wiener takes his images from vacation snapshots his father shot long ago. His prints, on paper we associate with childhood, vanish like memories.



Fading images leave lasting impressions

By Cate McQuaid  | GLOBE CORRESPONDENT  |   MARCH 18, 2014

“My Da Lu,” Nelson Chan’s ongoing project about his parents’ long-distance relationship shuttling between New Jersey and Hong Kong, often doesn’t show the pair. In this series of photos, there’s his mother’s carry-on bags, or the sky over Hong Kong. They capture the environment of the marriage, using signifiers for the people. I found myself concerned, wanting to know they’re all right. Then they show up: In one titled “Gem, Hong Kong” his father strokes his mother’s cheek. All is well.

The collaborative Houseboat Press offers three spiral-bound books by individual artists. Each sets up a wandering narrative arc — through, say, a college town in Dylan Nelson’s “Dedicated to Tom.” The unfortunately disjunctive backdrop — walls of images from all of the books — pulls the viewer out of the individual stories into a confounding larger one.

For “Flight Series,” Georgie Friedman sends a camera tagged to a helium balloon into the atmosphere, sometimes as high as 90,000 feet. The balloon pops, the camera parachutes down. The grids of photos of sky, clouds, and even the curvature of the earth convey the epic vistas in staccato morsels.

It’s an irony that the still center of the show was shot at home. In Friedman’s video “Snow Study III,” illuminated snowflakes dance against a dark sky outside her house. They pelt, pivot, float, and whirl. There’s no predictability to their dance, no snow bank for them to land upon — it’s just midair, black as night, tiny bright specks moving. As we do, through life.



Mills Gallery, Boston Center for the Arts, 551 Tremont St.


Closing date: April 13