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19.1.06 Chicagophoto  

Photography in Chicago is verging on a renaissance. Proud displays of support, like the Art Institute’s new “On the Scene,” is the reason why: the Windy City's institutions recognize its abundant homegrown talent. This latest exhibition gathers the work of three local photographers—Jessica Rowe, Jason Salavon and Brian Ulrich—into their own solo shows. In an eerie excavation of red-state memories, Rowe reads interiors as family scrapbooks and clothes as ciphers that simultaneously cloak and illuminate their owner’s lives. Ulrich hollows out the Republican equation of patriotism with consumerism, offering a document of the self-annihilating monotony and gluttony behind the rituals of shopping. Chipping away at the medium's boundaries, Salavon’s “photographs” are Pythagorean at heart: they ground a visual reality in numbers, yielding ghostly images through intricate mathematical averaging, very literally abstracting beauty from mountains of everyday ephemera. So if you're in town over the next few days, here's a place to see three new ways the Midwest sees itself.

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