boston

Leslie Hewitt, Riffs on Real Time (7 of 10), 2006–2009, color photograph, 30 x 24".

Leslie Hewitt

Institute of Contemporary Art

Leslie Hewitt, Riffs on Real Time (7 of 10), 2006–2009, color photograph, 30 x 24".

There was something disquieting about Leslie Hewitt’s recent exhibition, titled “Riffs on Real Time,” which featured a sequence of ten highly stylized photographs by the same name, and a sleek installation, Untitled, 2011. Each of the photographs (all 2006–2009), while offering unique pictorial content, had been made using a single compositional template. A primary image (culled from sources such as the monumental archives of American history or the minor registers of personal histories) is centrally placed on a larger book, photo, or other document so that the image appears framed; in turn, this arrangement is photographed laid out on a hardwood or carpeted floor, which adds yet another frame. Also “riffing” on the premise of “same but different” was the photo installation Untitled, in which a large starch-white slab had been propped against the wall, scaled to the dimensions of

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