One night in 1973 Bas Jan Ader went looking for miracles in Hollywood’s Hills. Armed with a flashlight, the late Dutch artist searched highways, fields, and alleys for meaning. The photographs that document his wanderings reflect an earnest search for the extraordinary in the everyday, and the melancholic futility of this quest. In Search of the Miraculous takes its title and conceptual starting point from Ader’s nocturnal ramble to present six artists who similarly use photography in pursuit of the mysterious, the otherworldly, the spectacular.
There is something mystical and even magical about photography, whether it is when images float to the surface in trays in the darkroom, or when what is invisible to the naked eye appears through the lens, or how time can seemingly be frozen by a shutter click. In Barbara Bosworth’s portraits of natural wonderment, David Maisel’s x-rays, Abelardo Morell’s magical interiors, David Prifti’s relics, Peter Gruner Shellenberger’s light studies, and Suara Welitoff’s elegiac videos there is a shared search for the place where the spiritual and the everyday collapse into a visual poetry. Shown together these photographs and videos continue Ader’s hunt through visual journeys that are as much about inner searches as they are about physical phenomena.
— Lexi Lee Sullivan
Reception: Thursday, October 23, 2014