Weekly Photo Challenge: A Minimalist Detective Story

For this week’s minimalist theme, photographer Jen Hooks challenges us to take an image which is deceptively simple.  It should have a lot of negative space and monochromatic color palette, and it should focus on an interesting subject.   So, here are two images shot this summer in the Chicago Cultural Center.  As I was walking down a long corridor, I peered into a gallery and spotted these shadowy plants silhouetted against the window shades.   They filled the room with moody shadows.

Summer Shadows, Sepia

Summer Shadows, Sepia, P.A. Moed

Then, out of the corner of my eye, I glimpsed something, which made me stop in my tracks.   What was that on the floor in front of the windows?  The eerie outline of a corpse?

Miller & Shellabarger Exhibit, City of Chicago Cultural Center

Miller & Shellabarger Exhibit, City of Chicago Cultural Center, P.A. Moed

After a moment of horror, I quickly scanned the gallery, realizing that there were several “bodies” on the floor and a few hanging on the wall.  They were part of the exhibit Again Gone by the artists Miller and Shellabarger who use gunpowder and black oil sunflower seeds to trace the outlines of imaginary victims.  The artists’ choice of seeds and gunpowder are deliberate.   Although they are tiny, they contain tremendous sources of energy, and they are rich in imagery.  Still, I didn’t linger long.  The eeriness of the shadows and the imaginary corpses were enough to send me hurrying to another room.

The moral of the story:  I should never work for CSI.  Could you?

To see more of Jen Hook’s gorgeous work, click here.

19 replies »

  1. I was reminded of the art exhibits held in my home town this fall. Every year there’s this big art hoedown (shindig? thingyummy?) Whatever it’s called, I go to it and enjoy perusing art which goes completely over my head. (Some of it literally.) I passed an exhibit and then thought I saw bullet holes in the glass nearby…as I took a closer look, I realized they were film overlays that perfectly mimicked bullet holes. The exhibit probably was a commentary on violence in America, but mostly it was startlingly effective in getting one’s attention.


Don't Be Shy! Drop Me A Line.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.