Phantoms in the Dirt

Museum of Contemporary Photography, 600 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605

Phantoms in the Dirt

The sixteen artists in this exhibition present an array of physical remnants and enigmatic traces, ranging from cryptic objects to the marks of human activity in rugged landscapes. Searching for phantoms in the dirt, so to speak, their works reckon with the facts of matter, the nature of photographic imagery, and the forces (sometimes invisible) that leave their mark on our surroundings. In doing so, they are also considering how the visible and the tangible—or sometimes what our senses can't apprehend at all—shape our encounters with the world around us or generate mutable senses of meaning. Perhaps tellingly, their work is often both matter-of-fact and mysterious, an empirical approach even giving way to atmospheric or inscrutable results. At the same time, these works offer a range of outlooks on the possibilities of photography and sculpture. One medium would seem to favor the aloof image, the other matter itself; both, however, offer myriad ways to examine, or grapple with, the material world, whether at its most substantial or elusive. 

Guest curated by Karsten Lund (Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago).

Generous support for Phantoms in the Dirt  is provided by the Efroymson Family Fund and the Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellowship program.  Additional support is made possible by the Contemporary Arts Council, the Headlands Center for the Arts, the Illinois Arts Council Agency, and the Danish Arts Foundation.

 

 

Upcoming Events

Michael L. Abramson: Pulse of the Night

Michael L. Abramson: Pulse of the Night

Michael L. Abramson: Pulse of the Night

Library

This exhibition presents images from Michael L. Abramson’s (1948-2011) South Side Series documenting the pulsing scene of black night clubs on Chicago’s South Side in ...

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Michael Schmelling: Your Blues

Michael Schmelling: Your Blues

Michael Schmelling: Your Blues

Museum of Contemporary Photography

During an eighteen month-long commission in his hometown of Chicago, Schmelling explored the musical landscape of the region. The artist has immersed himself headlong into ...

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Gallery Talk and Opening Reception: What Remains and You and Me

Gallery Talk and Opening Reception: What Remains and You and Me

Gallery Talk and Opening Reception: What Remains and You and Me

Museum of Contemporary Photography

Join us for a gallery talk and opening reception in honor of the What Remains and You and Me exhibitions. Exhibiting artists Barbara ...

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Reading and Discussion: Meena Alexander

Reading and Discussion: Meena Alexander

Reading and Discussion: Meena Alexander

Museum of Contemporary Photography

Acclaimed poet, scholar, and writer Meena Alexander will read from and discuss her work. Alexander was raised in both India and Sudan. Themes of displacement, ...

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Lectures in Photography: Britt Salvesen

Lectures in Photography: Britt Salvesen

Lectures in Photography: Britt Salvesen

Stage Two

Since 2009, Britt Salvesen has served as the Department Head and Curator of the Wallis Annenberg Department of Photography, and the Department Head and Curator ...

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DARKROOM

DARKROOM

DARKROOM

A Private Club

MoCP 2015 Benefit Auction 5:30 – 6:30pm Reception honoring Barbara Crane with the Silver Camera Award 6:30 – 8:30pm Benefit Auction and Party You're invited to join the MoCP ...

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Video Playlist: An Ordinary Instant

Video Playlist: An Ordinary Instant

Video Playlist: An Ordinary Instant

Museum of Contemporary Photography

The imagination not only acts as an escape from the real world, it can also open new possibilities of experience. As a powerful force ...

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Film Screening: The Bridges of Sarajevo (2014)

Film Screening: The Bridges of Sarajevo (2014)

Film Screening: The Bridges of Sarajevo (2014)

Goethe-Institut Chicago

Thirteen European directors explore the theme of Sarajevo; what this city has represented in European history over the past hundred years, and what Sarajevo stands ...

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Lectures in Photography: Jeffrey Hoone

Lectures in Photography: Jeffrey Hoone

Lectures in Photography: Jeffrey Hoone

Museum of Contemporary Photography

Jeffrey Hoone has served as the Executive Director of Light Work since 1982. Housed in the Robert B. Menschel Media Center at Syracuse University, Light ...

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Past Events

The Chicago Music Scene: Jim DeRogatis and Jessica Hopper

The Chicago Music Scene: Jim DeRogatis and Jessica Hopper

The Chicago Music Scene: Jim DeRogatis and Jessica Hopper

Museum of Contemporary Photography

Jim DeRogatis and Jessica Hopper will discuss some of the over-looked and off-the-beaten-path subjects referenced in Schmelling’s work as well as some traditions and legacies in Chicago music. ...

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Lecture in Photography: Michael Schmelling

Lecture in Photography: Michael Schmelling

Lecture in Photography: Michael Schmelling

Museum of Contemporary Photography

Exhibiting artist Michael Schmelling will discuss his work and career including his Grammy award winning publication The Wilco Book (2004), his work in Atlanta (2010) ...

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MoCP Museum Council Fall Social

MoCP Museum Council Fall Social

MoCP Museum Council Fall Social

Museum of Contemporary Photography

The MoCP Museum Council Fall Social is a great way to meet MoCP Museum Council members, MoCP staff, artists and photography fans from the community, ...

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Michael Schmelling: Your Blues

Michael Schmelling: Your Blues

Michael Schmelling: Your Blues

Museum of Contemporary Photography

During an eighteen month-long commission in his hometown of Chicago, Schmelling explored the musical landscape of the region. The artist has immersed himself headlong into ...

Read more

Michael L. Abramson: Pulse of the Night

Michael L. Abramson: Pulse of the Night

Michael L. Abramson: Pulse of the Night

Library

This exhibition presents images from Michael L. Abramson’s (1948-2011) South Side Series documenting the pulsing scene of black night clubs on Chicago’s South Side in ...

Read more