Seton Smith: Pale Guide to Transparent ThingsApr 8 — Jun 10, 2000


In Pale Guide to Transparent Things, Seton Smith examined the convergence of spaces: interior/exterior, public/private, real/imagined, and past/present. This series was presented as an installation of large-scale (six-by-four feet) color transparencies mounted on light boxes and arranged on the walls and floor of the gallery. Recontextualized in the museum, the images interacted with the architecture of the space itself. Smith’s use of soft focus, tight cropping, and monochromatic colors altered the real objects she photographed, which include Chinese-style chairs, seats in an auditorium, and institutional fluorescent lights. The resulting ambiguous images shared a formal unity despite their disparate subjects. The images seem vaguely familiar, as if recalled from dream or memory. “I create scenes,” Smith said, “but they are open to interpretation. People project their own experiences onto them.”

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Museum of Contemporary Photography

at Columbia College Chicago
600 South Michigan Avenue
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