A body is frozen mid-flight in the foreground of a building and stark white sky. The eerie image is initially startling, but a sense of familiarity beckons a closer look. The figure's hands are turned up, his arms are relaxed and a profile of his chin shows him looking upward. He isn't falling; he's floating. The photo, titled "Levitation," leaves the viewer fumbling with pieces that don't quite fit together. There is an ethereal mystery to all of Keith Carter's photographs, in which he plays with light to produce stark contrasts and a ghost-like blur around the image's focal point. The technique behind the collection coming to Photographs Do Not Bend Gallery and Carter's new book of the same title, A Certain Alchemy, is experimentation with photography's raw materials: "time, light and memory," according to Carter. The artist's use of shallow depth elicits curiosity about the scene beyond the photo's darkened edges. The significance of a fruit bowl depends on the table upon which it sits, which Carter doesn't specify in his photo "Blackberries." Think outside the frame at PDNB's A Certain Alchemy exhibit, running Saturday through April 25. An artist reception and book signing takes place from 5 to 8 p.m. opening night. Visit pdnbgallery.com for more info.
Tuesdays-Saturdays. Starts: Feb. 28. Continues through April 25, 2009