Stephen Chalmers Exhibition "Unmarked"
Exhibition Dates: March 22 - May 29
Gallery Reception: Thursday, April 1, 5-7pm (Limited free reception parking available, RSVP 315-443-1300)
Light Work announced its new exhibition Unmarked, featuring photographs by Stephen Chalmers.
The large-format landscape photographs in Unmarked connect remembrance and the land by investigating the locations where serial killers abandoned the bodies of their victims. Photographing these places in a deliberately generic manner, Chalmers presents beautiful but ambiguous landscapes that seem to conflict with our certain knowledge that something terrible ended at these sites.
By inviting viewers to gaze directly on the sites of untimely and tragic deaths, Chalmers gives them courage to confront their fears about the end of life and its remembrance. The sites are referred to as dumpsites, a term made popular by both law enforcement agents as well as television crime dramas. By acknowledging these dumpsites and the people who died there through his images, Chalmers lifts a stigma that unceremoniously draws a line of remembrance between those who died by intentional acts of violence and those who did not.
While Chalmers treads on sensitive ground as he explores and documents dumpsites in the Pacific Northwest and beyond, he hopes to exchange sensational headlines and the inevitable scandal tied to such sites with something more meaningful. Instead, he offers an elegant memorial that shifts the viewer's gaze away from infamy and back to the humanity of the victims. Chalmers writes, "As a latecomer who has visited these sites months or years after the event and the associated media coverage, one is immediately struck by the absence of spectacle, the beauty of the sites, and their silence and stillness."
Stephen Chalmers' work is featured in Contact Sheet 156, available for preview and purchase through Light Work's Online Store. The catalogue will be available at the gallery reception.