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Willa Nasatir

Saturday, February 18, 2017Sunday, June 18, 2017

Installation view of Willa Nasatir. Photograph by Tom Loonan.

1905 Building

In her first solo museum exhibition, Willa Nasatir (American, born 1990) presents evocative new photographs that capture her unique approach to staging, photographing, and rephotographing elaborate sculptural landscapes of her own creation. To make these works, Nasatir first assembles objects both common and unusual: copper tubing, a pair of broken eyeglasses, a motorcycle helmet, a child’s chair, a rubber snake. In the space between her constructions and camera she then props mirrors, bends Mylar, and deploys scrims of extruded Plexiglas.

At times, Nasatir seems to use these layers and visual barriers to evoke the distance between the present day and the past. Each individual photograph is sourced from a memory or a narrative, whether something Nasatir experienced or a powerful scene in an artwork or a film. However, they do not tell stories. Rather, her cobbling and filtering is a sleight of hand that unmoors her subjects from their origins, and the resulting photographs call on us to create our own storylines.

Willa Nasatir (American, born 1990). The Red Room, 2017. C-print on panel and tacks, unique; 82 x 67 x 3 inches (208.3 x 170.2 x 7.6 cm). Courtesy of the artist and Chapter NY.

Willa Nasatir (American, born 1990). Boy, 2017. C-print on panel and tacks, unique; 82 x 67 x 3 inches (208.3 x 170.2 x 7.6 cm). Courtesy of the Artist and Chapter NY.

Just as Nasatir recasts simple still-life objects as talismans both sacred and foreign in her photographic constructions, our memories are constantly being rewritten in light of new experiences; this malleability, in turn, transforms the way we see the present. While photography seems to fix people and places as constants in memory’s shifting terrain, Nasatir’s photographs reveal the extent to which this power is always a partial one, subject to its own endless cycles of revision and fragmentation.

This exhibition is organized by Senior Curator Cathleen Chaffee.

Admission to this exhibition is free during M&T FIRST FRIDAYS @ THE GALLERY on March 3, April 7, May 5, and June 2, 2017.

Exhibition Sponsors

This exhibition was made possible through the generosity of the Fundación Jumex Arte Contemporáneo and The Seymour H. Knox Foundation.