In this exhibition, Mindaugas Gabrenas invites us to reflect on the poetics of place through his lyrical and surrealist imagery. His hand-printed silver gelatin prints reveal abandoned regions, wild coasts and strange territories from Lithuania to Scotland to America. As a scientific innovator, he uses unique techniques and unconventional materials in order to create his whimsical, dream photos.
In “Spinning The Wheel”, stars trace the sky in a curved motion and meet the water below creating a sense of the infinite. As Gabrenas explores and captures landscapes through very long exposures, he actually meditates and reflects on the world around him encouraging his viewers to imagine themselves within the landscapes and dream with him.
In another image “Dream About an Empty House”, that was taken in Lithuania, we see a young girl from behind in a red polka dotted dress as she faces an abandoned home. Using his handmade camera he constructed by merging two cameras—a Kiev 88 and a Kodak Duaflex II. The viewfinder of the Duaflex serves as an additional filter on the lens of the Kiev 88, which is fixed to its body with several macro rings. Before shooting the film, he wraps it in black rye bread and waits several days for the mold to grow onto the film. The combination of these two techniques creates a sense of motion around the central figure.
“Alternatives”, our invitational image, pulls us into Gabrenas’ world. The focused close-up and abstracted view of train tracks distorts a familiar shape into a strange and unusual form. The tracks lead you in the distance, a blurry city of New York. The ironic lack of human life in New York City conveys a mystifying sense of place.
In “Something With a Head”, we’re taken to the Lithuanian seaside where silhouetted figures stand on sand dunes watching the central figure jumping off into the distance. This image is part of his “Dreamscapes”; a series of “dream projections” where the artist uses a light-leaking camera called Kiev 88 and expired Svema 64 film to give the photography a dusty and blurry quality.
Born in Lithuania, he has been influenced by a myriad of artists’ techniques including the graceful elegance of Masao Yamamoto and the intricate compositions of Michael Kenna. However, Henri Cartier Bresson has perhaps had the greatest influence on Gabrenas’ photographic process and the patience it entails.
Gabrenas has won numerous awards for his photography, including Black & White Magazine Portfolio Contest Winner, Audience Award Winner in SoHo Photo Gallery, Photo Democracy Award Winner, Foto filmic’13 Portfolio Award Winner, Tera Bella Media’13 2nd Place Winner. He has also been published in various publications including ‘Black & White Magazine’, ‘L’Oeil de la Photographie’, ‘Adore Noir Magazine’, ’PH Magazine’, ‘Foto blur’, ‘Dodho Magazine’, ’Dahse’, ‘Shots’, ‘DOC!’, ‘Monovisions’, and ‘Klassik Magazine’.
January 17 – February 25, 2018
Robin Rice Gallery
325 W 11th St New York, NY 10014