Review: “Safe Light” Exhibition

Posted on April 26, 2013

From the Pittsburgh City Paper:

Safe Light challenges the notion that analog and digital photography are incompatible or oppositional
Installation work explores how we know one another by our parts.
by Leo Hsu

Darkrooms are isolated and self-contained spaces, places where time and light operate under special rules. Entering Dennis Childers and Nick Childers’ installation Safe Light, there is a noticeable change in temperature, a low hum. Red and amber safelights, which allow photographers to work with light-sensitive paper, illuminate curling vintage prints hanging from clotheslines. Darkroom timers are plugged into one another recursively. Six photographic enlargers are the focus of the room: Tiny projectors fixed inside their bellows project video onto sheets of paper floating in developing trays — short films made over the years by both artists, who are father and son.

But the Safe Light installation, and the photographs that complement it in the adjacent room at the Irma Freeman Center, are not just a nostalgic homage to increasingly rare technologies. The stuff of black-and-white wet printing has been rearranged according to an unexpected logic, and to powerful effect

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