Adam Ekberg

The Stranger - Seattle, by Jen Graves

Visual Art The Hospital Ceiling
Posted by Jen Graves at 9:37 AM

In my review of Jim O’Donnell’s beguiling A Spectral Glimpse show up now at Platform Gallery (great slide show here), I mentioned Chicago-based artist Adam Ekberg only briefly.

His two photographs in the show depict the rainbowy flare of the sun on the camera’s lens as it points toward the sky from the floor of a forest. They’re large and gorgeous, and in their hippy-dippy awestruck way they nod to a video by Ekberg I’ve only heard about and never seen, of a light show on the top of a mountain in the dark. Here’s a still:

This, in turn, reminds me of this (an illuminated tree photograph by Charles LaBelle):

(It also reminds me of an illuminated tree series by Rob Fischer, an example of which I can’t put my finger on online.)

But what I really wanted to share is Ekberg’s series of hospital ceiling photographs, which are not in the show (but are on his web site). He didn’t compose them; he took them by flopping himself down on the beds and shooting whichever way he fell.

As much as these images are all thick with death and dying, their abstraction pulls away the melodrama and leaves only the image, the last thing you might see.

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