Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Photos show everyday life amid catastrophe

Karin Apollonia Müller,

Art reviews: Karin Apollonia Müller, Hirsch Perlman, Jimmy Baker, Bill Komoski

By Christopher Knight @ LA Times

For at least a decade, Karin Apollonia Müller has been making savvy photographs that consider the disquieting contradictions of ordinary experience, a project for which Southern California has been her muse. Müller divides her time between Los Angeles and Germany, where she was born (in Heidelberg) in 1963. Perhaps it takes an outsider to see a place with fresh eyes, because she understands the perplexing city in ways that deeply resonate.

Her seven recent large-scale photographs at the Karyn Lovegrove Gallery are as fine as any she's made. One reason is that she begins with an array of events — wildfires, mudslides, freeway catastrophes and such —that are L.A. clichés and that also make the city the nation's reigning symbol of imminent apocalypse. (Had there been a recent earthquake, it no doubt would have figured in her pictures.) But the resulting work is less journalistic or documentary than cinematic, even though she doesn't stage the scenes.


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