Phantoms in the DirtJul 25 — Oct 5, 2014

  • Harold Mendez, Panic dwindled into jitters into detached fascination. It was just a show. The longer I watched the less I felt. Events coupled, cavorted, and vanished, emotion hanging in mid air before my lemur eyes like a thin shred of homeless ectoplasm. It was cool. It was like drowning in syrup. (After Sally Mann), 2008-2011
  • Greg Stimac, Old Faithful Inversion, 2012, video still
  • Jeremy Bolen, buried with the manhattan project. cp-1 (site a, red gate woods, cook county forest preserve, lemont, il), 2012

The artists featured in this exhibition make works that are characterized by an enigmatic quality and an emphatic, even elemental sense of materiality, as if they were trying to learn the secrets of dead matter or better grasp the unseen forces that make their mark (through not always tangibly). In searching for phantoms in the dirt, so to speak, these artists are also exploring the possibilities for sculpture and photography.  Sculpture is a medium related to matter at its most substantial (in this case soil, wood, ash, iron, or cement). Photography is deeply tied to and even dependent on energy -- light above all, though the medium is affected by heat and radiation as well. In this exhibition, the artists use these two media to grapple with the raw stuff of the world and also as a means to try to visualize the intangible or invisible, in ways that are often both mysterious and empirical. Curated by Karsten Lund.

Phantoms in the Dirt is sponsored by the Contemporary Arts Council. 

Museum of Contemporary Photography

at Columbia College Chicago
600 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60605

(312) 663-5554


  • Monday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Tuesday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Wednesday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Thursday: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm
  • Friday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Saturday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Sunday: 12:00-5:00 pm

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