Bangkok Photo Exhibit: Reflecting on myths and mortality

Bangkok Post

30 JUne 2014

How do you photograph bodily sensations and our pre-programmed cellular decay? Elizabeth Preger’s sensitive, sombre work instantly reminds us of one of Buddhism’s meditation mantras — “Rising…Falling”, which is also used as a reflection on death.

“Here Are My Teeth: Black With Stars” is a photographic exhibition by the American photographer whose practice focuses on ideas of myth-making, as well as photography’s historical relationship to mortality and place.

Preger will put on show extreme close-ups of vulnerable naked body parts conveying fleshy sensations — a hand with mottled nail varnish lightly fingering a hairy navel; downy feathers scattered across a female torso; and the bone-like textures of seashells worn smooth by the might of sea and wind, carefully collected in a white porcelain bowl with a soft raised pattern of bending leaves.

Beside each image of “life” will be its reverse — the nipple covered with make-up in “life” which is now stained black, making it look more like the nipple of a corpse, and the pristine bowl of shells marred by black grease, evoking ecological disaster, death as the stinking oil slick that suffocates all life and defaces beauty.

There is no religious surrender here; only fear powerfully envisioned and endured.

– ‘Here Are My Teeth: Black With Stars’ will be displayed at Kathmandu Photo Gallery from July 5-Aug 31 with the opening party on July 5 at 6.30pm.
– The gallery is on Thanon Pan (near the Indian Temple), Silom, and opens Tuesday to Sunday from 11am to 7pm.
– Call 02-234-6700.