Closing Soon: Kristin Cammermeyer & Erin O’Keefe

David Strand
Posted on June 23, 2015, 5:41 pm
4 mins

Kristin Cammermeyer and Erin O’Keefe’s artistic practices revolve around the flattening of three-dimensional installations into two-dimensions via photography. O’Keefe uses the lens of her camera to capture constructed environments that she builds in her studio. Cammermeyer uses her lens to take thousands of photographs in order to create kaleidoscopic stop-motion films of site-specific installations she builds over a period of weeks. O’Keefe who divides her time between New York City and New Brunswick, and Cammermeyer who is based out of Los Angeles have inadvertently come into conversation with one another through their simultaneous exhibitions in Seattle. With a keen sense of color, geometry and perspective, Cammermeyer and O’Keefe’s exhibits align and diverge around notions of product, process and presentation.

Erin O’Keefe, "Hey Hey.” 2015, archival inkjet print. Image courtesy the artist and Platform Gallery.

Erin O’Keefe, “Hey Hey.”
2015, archival inkjet print. Image courtesy the artist and Platform Gallery.

Drawing from her background in sculpture and architecture, O’Keefe’s latest body of work, titled Natural Disasters, is a series of confounding documents that use analog means to mirror digital effects. Composed of converging lines, overlapping planes and bright swatches of color, her photographs are chaotic yet static. Each piece is a visual puzzle that undermines the implicit trust that we place in images as consumers. As O’Keefe notes, “images that I relied upon to ground my understanding of the world are now slippery, unreliable things.” Her formal play with depth and perspective recalls Rodrigo Valenzuela’s Hedonic Reversal from his exhibit at the Frye Art Museum, which subverted similar analog methods of studio photography. While O’Keefe’s works may appear straightforward from certain angles, upon closer inspection an unstable and erratic reality is revealed.

A similar fluidity may be found in Cammermeyer’s practice. While O’Keefe’s constructions are created solely in her studio, Cammermeyer’s constructions are unique to specific sites that she inhabits for extended periods of time. Cammermeyer has spent the last six weeks at the Hedreen Gallery building an elaborate installation that stretches nearly forty feet long and towers almost twenty feet high. Comprised largely of materials sourced from the Seattle University Theatre that is housed in the same building, the work has been shaped equally by the site and the artist. According to Cammermeyer, “the staged nature of the piece along with being allowed to borrow much of the material from the theater department has been a pivotal driving force in the work.” Cammermeyer has fastidiously photographed nearly early step of the construction and deconstruction of the installation, tinkering with light, color and shape in order to condense hours of work into a few minutes of film that depicts a constantly shifting environment. Cammermeyer estimates that the final stop-motion film will contain as many if not more than 13,000 photographs.

Kristin Cammermeyer is also Amanda Manitach’s last exhibition as curator of the Hedreen Gallery. The closing reception Wednesday night will not only serve as the premiere of Cammermeyer’s stop-motion film but also act as a farewell and celebration of Manitach’s impressive three years of curation at the gallery. Cammermeyer’s exhibition is the perfect exclamation point to Manitach’s diverse and stirring programming.

The closing reception for Kristin Cammermeyer is Wednesday, June 24 from 6-8PM at the Hedreen Gallery (901 12 Ave).

Erin O’Keefe, Natural Disasters is on view through Saturday, June 27 at Platform Gallery (114 Third Ave S).

David Strand

David Strand is a writer and aspiring curator based in Seattle.