Posted January 23, 2017 by Cooper Point Journal in Arts & Culture

Voyager Opens at Galerie Fotoland

By Ruby Love

It’s officially the start of winter quarter, and if you’re like me and spent the break in a haze of rich food and existential dread, coming back to school has been a welcome change. Coinciding with the start of the year two thousand and seventeen (oh boy…we’re in the future now…) is a new exhibit at Galerie Fotoland which looks at the nature of time and space using photographs of deceptively cute dioramas.

Voyager is the work of Seattle-based photographer Bill Finger, who utilizes techniques learned from his career working around film sets to build miniature worlds. The sets built by Finger vary from lonely country houses, seen at night, to the view of a crater from the window of a plane, to images of space exploration and satellites.

Translated through the medium of black and white photography, Finger’s sets take on new meaning, blurring the line between reality/intellectual knowledge and dream/magical thinking as the audience is asked to suspend their disbelief and immerse themselves in the artist’s complex worlds. The photographs were smaller than expected, and each is housed in a clean white frame, surrounded by a circular mat. They are deceptively simple, and after my first walk through I found myself returning again and again, nearly pressing my nose to the glass to catch some previously unseen detail.

Recalling the charm of movies before special effects, Finger’s work doesn’t fully obscure the details of its manufacture – that’s not its goal. Moving from image to image, I found myself oscillating between appreciating that these were tiny sets, painstakingly built by the artist, and getting lost in the scenes before me, despite being able to “see through” them.

The exhibit runs until February 28 at Galerie Fotoland which, if you don’t know, is outside of Photoland on the first floor of the library building. I highly recommend stopping by to take a look!