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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Trés Chic

In the Arts and Crafts tradition, Pamela Hobbs composes miniature scenes, photographs them and locks them away in shadowboxes. With Cartes Postales, Hobbs plays with a visceral Paris. A sepia tinged photograph of a curios cabinet is suspended against a background of craft paper printed with vintage French post cards. The cabinet within a photograph, within another cabinet creates multiple layers through which reality gets filtered until it has become a distillation – a memory of a dream of a memory.

The items in the cabinet – a high-heeled shoe, a doll head, a dress form, a dried flower – create a vignette of tiny, fetishized objects that play with conceptions of Paris as an antique city brimming with sophistication, fashion and romance. The entire composition, with its seemingly scattered post cards, like old love letters, invites the viewer to string the objects together in an imagined narrative. Encapsulated within the pine and glass box, the image seems to arrest the passing of time. It is an impression, captured like a rare butterfly beneath glass.

Today is the last day to view Cartes Postales at ARC

By Rachel Brown

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