Ruiz-Healy Art is delighted to present "Four Visions: Carrington, Limas, Salcido, West" at our San Antonio gallery in conjunction with FOTOSEPTIEMBRE USA International Photography Festival. The exhibition features work by four guest artists: Rahm Carrington, Carlos Limas, Joel Salcido, and Tito West. The exhibition opens on Wednesday, September 22nd, and will be on view until Saturday, November 6th.⠀⠀⠀⠀
Recently made the TOP 5 in Texas this week on Glasstire. “Stillness” is on view until Saturday, August 14, 2021, at the IMAS museum @imasmuseum in McAllen, Texas.
Opening night with IMAS Director Ann Fortescue and incredible artist Angela Scardigno.
The Perception of Structure
Documentary photographs meant to evoke a personal response, memories
By Nancy Moyer
Special to The Monitor
Monday, May 31, 2021
How to respond to images that express the ravages of time? Do you perceive abandonment cultural decay economic legacies or something else Carlos Limas who teaches digital photography at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Art, wants you to react to this exhibition “Stillness” at the International Museum of Art & Science, consists of video digital photography and small drawings capturing the derelict Valley structures.
Photographs of abandoned residences, businesses, and places of worship line the gallery walls creating the ambiance of a city left behind, but these images were collected from a variety of places spanning the Rio Grande Valley.
While starting with the symbol of home in mind Limas soon became fascinated with all houses and dilapidated buildings.
“I made a personal connection to them” he confessed. To him, they evoke nostalgia a time without cell phones or social media - a more peaceful time. Interested in how perception can change our sense of reality when engaging with an image, he captured a series of structures that allow personal memories to augment the reality of his images.
Some still contain indirect signs of activity, such as graffiti and minimal habitation.
“Photography is more about human emotions and how we as spectators connect with the image”, posited Limas ”But in order for this to happen, we need to embrace the act of contemplation, which translate to a moment of complete stillness.”
The photographs on display not only allow for image-specific meditations, but the collection as a whole allows a significant expansion of perception. Overall, they have the sense of a failed community. Realizing that they exist in different towns and countries suggests a statement of progress, for better or worse, leaving behind what was no longer needed. Are they post-Rupture?
Photographs of demised businesses seem the emptiest. Identified by town, they could be anywhere; they are a previous America. A building in Donna is now functions as a surface for political posters. Structures that are boarded up have gone within themselves, physically rejecting further outside life. Completely painted a pale tone to disguise its iconic orange roof, an old Whataburger. To some people, it could also be perceived as a symbol of the demise of beef consumption.
To neutralize inherent emotion that could interfere with viewers own perception of the structure, Limas used a 1:1 ratio, square Deadpan format, for the images. He admits placing his images at varying levels on the picture plane to best capture what he initially felt from them and is very conscious of how his photographs read; the light in these pictures is always morning or late afternoon, impacting colors and textures. “Donna, TX.”
Is a centrally placed static horizontal composition with a couple of verticals. The bands of primary color struggle for life against emptiness. A church in “La Feria, TX” fills the square plane with its suppressed, boarded-up, soul.
Given a moment of stillness, the abandoned or dilapidated residences evoke emotion whether you want it or not. Many of us remember living somewhere that was demolished or had older relatives whose homes deteriorated. Like the house in “Edinburg, TX”, these structures still have charm and could rouse a found childhood memory, or install the momentary hope of revival. The most neglected can wrench a feeling of loss.
Charming and witty, ink drawings on the back of cardboard film boxes are displayed in the center of the gallery, and a video of a house allow us to get a heightened experience of stillness.
Limas concluded, “It’s the transfer of time and image into memory. I’m trying to distort time and the image itself to what memories might have occurred from that place.”