chicago

Elizabeth Boettger

Studio Show

Elizabeth Boettger makes photographs of light. She opens a camera lens anywhere from eight seconds to ten minutes and; within its range, “draws” in the air with penlights, highway flares, or a chemical mixture of her own concoction. The most impressive body of these photographs was taken in an alley in a Chicago slum. Garbage cans, telephone poles, newspaper piles, and brick façades are a dark, brutal, actual-life setting for her uncontained, scarlet-red light. It dances alongside graffiti-covered walls and blazes up and down the alley’s long black path. Boettger herself appears in several places in each photograph as a wonderful sort of ethereal blur, a sort of ghostly figure which is more and less “solid” depending on how long she stood still. Looking at the prints, this “figure” sometimes emerges as the source of a liquid light which spills out a dispersed mist or lightning bolt.

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