Toby Keller

Night Photographers are a peculiar breed. As the photographs in this exhibit clearly demonstrate, the work produced is extraordinarily diverse. While technique, equipment, and subject matter vary from one artist to the next, there is a commonality of shared experience amongst almost all night photographers. First and foremost, Night Photography provides an outlet for the artist to reconnect to the physical world in ways that are often lost in the hectic pace of daily routines. Tim Baskerville, founder of the night-photography organization The Nocturnes, has said, “Surrealism, the mystery of place, solitude, and a heightened sense of the nature of things — Night Photography seems a worthy vehicle, a ritual to express these themes.” Night Photography is a ritual, one that involves the engagement of light and time, creative vision, and circumstance. The most successful Night Photographs are the ones that leave the viewer with unanswered questions. The enigma and ambiguity of what is portrayed in the Night Photograph draws in the viewer, and leaves them longing for certainty where it doesn't exist.

The night has always been associated with the darker side of human experiences. Night transforms our notion of the world from one of routine certainty to one of mysterious unknowing. Brave was the ancestor who stepped outside of the light of the fire circle, for he might never return. The interplay of light, shadow, and extremes of contrast heighten this uncertainty - and when the element of time is added in the form of long exposures, the Night Photograph is indeed a worthy vehicle to express these themes.

Darkness, Darkness presents the work of a varied group of artists who have all dedicated much of their creative efforts to exploring the themes of Night Photography. From the classical black and white photographs of Lisa Tyson Ennis to the wildly colorful “light painted” images of Troy Paiva, from those working at the edge of darkness like Larry Schwarm, to those like Steve Harper who inhabit the deepest corners of the night, each has their own personal vision to share.

Lance Keimig
January, 2008

10 Cowperthwaite Street, Cambridge, MA