Groundtruthing

Visual Art

Margot Anne Kelley’s digital inkjet prints, shown as part of SOIL’s current group show “Groundtruthing,” show familiar scenes. They’re things you might see out of the backseat window of a car as you hustle toward a canyon on a family vacation, or when looking from a tiny plane or ship window during a storm. One is a backyard forest that resembles the kind everyone got happily lost in as a child, making up games. In fact, they’re locations where Kelley has played the grown-up game of geocaching, a worldwide treasure hunt for adults who are guided to the rainbow’s end with a GPS. Unremarkable but for their backstories, Kelley explains her view of each image’s topography (“Groundtruthing”’s connecting thread) through mini-essays displayed next to them. Describing the forest, she talks about how she felt upon hearing scientists had determined the universe’s cumulative color to be green, then having them rebuke that claim in favor of beige. “I know my universe is still green,” she writes. Her work reminds you not to take anything at face value. Through the simplest of views, you sense her incredulousness that anyone would try to explain the world—boring as it often looks—with words that don’t capture its wonder. Curator Vaughn Bell has included gathered from around the country for this “examination of geography as a personal and social phenomenon,” including Boston photographer Bruce Myren, Montreal sound artist Tara Rodgers, and local Thom Heileson, whose two-channel video “Scend” was shot traveling the lowest point in Death Valley to one mile above sea level.

Aug. 2-26

 
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