new-york

Eileen Cowin

Jayne H. Baum Gallery

In her earlier photographic tableaux, Eileen Cowin cast herself and members of her family in domestic dramas that suggest frozen moments from upscale soap operas. Here she extends that interest, tracing a sort of family tree of melodramatic narratives. In an installation that filled half the gallery, long bands of black and white images, suggesting enlarged strips of movie film, circled the room; emerging from black backgrounds, the images in each band borrowed the ominous lighting, ambiguous themes, and radical spatial shifts and focus changes of film noir. Featured were such staples of noir iconography as a mysterious man gazing through a pair of binoculars, a woman in a phone booth at night, and an extreme closeup of an eye. As in any good mystery, however, the plot is fraught with ambiguity.

Among an accompanying selection of large Cibachromes, several prints suggested the narratives

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