Keith defines "book" as objects bound into a rectangular form. Old, dust-encrusted, barely identifiable materials are sandwiched between pieces of wood or cardboard. An old Lucky Strike pack serves as a cover image, as does a rusted star tacked to a faded red square of thin wood. Crushed, filthy plastic water bottles are wrapped in a cardboard skin by strips of brown gauze, copper wire and tubing. A birdhouse dedicated to Charlie Parker has "Bird" scripted in pink on the side, an illustration of the musician's broad face on the roof, and a fairly inconsequential stick barely holds its place as a perch.
Keith says that while she was setting up the display a passerby commented, "Those look like they were made at the turn of the century." And, indeed, they were. Her work is of this time, and yet of another time, and about the way time attaches emotion to all things.
In Left Bank's basement gallery, Dean Kessmann exhibits new photos taken "on the property of a company which fabricated large concrete forms." With images of the detritus of the industrial landscape, Kessmann tricks the viewer in regard to scale with these photos, so what seem to be vast gray lakes may in reality be small puddles; massive boulders could be small stones.
Rather than offering depictions of environmental degradation, Kessmann reveals an austere beauty in the varying degrees of gray. A stretch of white material among gray stones has the look of snow or sand. Pale green water is surrounded by stones with a soft reddish hue.
People have long gone to barren, austere landscapes for spiritual renewal. Kessmann imbues the concrete foundry with a most romantic perspective: Lhasa in cement wash.
Bibliography and Altered Landscapes continue at Left Bank Books through Oct. 24.
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