New York

Jennifer Bolande

Excessive art direction is not something of which Jennifer Bolande will ever be accused. Her color photographs are the opposite of Fellman’s in every way except one: I don’t like them either. Bolande’s tiny, pale, grainy images have intentionally been made to be crude. They also come in a bizarre assortment of shapes. In some instances, this is a result of their having been printed from different parts of the same negative. A view of a path in one of the public gardens in Paris or at Versailles, for example, yields at least five of the prints in the show—two extreme verticals, one horizontal, and one roughly square (an inch by an inch), in addition to the master shot that appears to be nearly full-frame. The first vertical shows a boy on the path and a section of the hedge. The second shows the hedge and some sort of stone ornament to the right of the boy in front of a reflecting pool or fountain. The other prints show other slivers of the scene. There doesn’t appear to be any sequence or logic to the particular parts of the negative that are selected.

The obscurity of this imagery and the disconnected way it keeps returning to the same scene makes it like something remembered from a dream. Dreams are the stuff of which art is made, you know. They’re also the stuff from which a great deal of tedium comes. People who get wrapped up in trying to tell us their dreams are almost always boring. It’s a subject in which only their shrinks could take an interest. Bolande’s photographs seem like someone’s narration of her dreams. I find them monotonous and uninformative in the same way.

Colin L. Westerbeck, Jr.