"Ashes and Snow" a temporary structure, a traveling museum show-casing Gregory Colbert's photographs.
A show of 200 large scale photographic works, surreal images of elephants, humans, whales, birds and other animals interacting, is exquisitely done. Mesmerizing.
The images themselves hang silently. Sepia-toned, on Japanese papers, wonder if they are a form of photogravure? Just beautiful.
Besides the images, at the farthest end of this one-man exhibit, is an accompanying film.
Projected onto a large screen, a room offering several round wooded, tube-like seatings, provides an intimate viewing of Colbert's 35mm film. Narrated by Laurence Fishburne, a continuous hour long feature. Documenting, lending proof that his photos are real: humans can do incredible feats in water and animals are harmonious artists in their element. Unleashed, from the camera of Colbert's eye to our own.
Just wow. So impressive.
Also of note, is the museum building itself. Designed by noted architect, Shigeru Ban, it is constructed of recycled materials. Tall paper tubed columns and piled shipping containers.
In the interior, a long, wooden plankway extends to the end. On its side, thousands of soothing, soft-yellow stones. When you enter the hall, immediately the hush tones, serene elegance, ambient music and tranquil nature takes over.
Though please don't be like me: let your eyes adjust to the dim lighting, curb your enthusiasm and resist the urge to run right up and feel the material of the wall curtain: made of pressed tea bags. This and the *crunch crunch* of stones will draw security's attention. Oops.
The exhibit also coincides with the release of Colbert's novel.
Which brings us to the bookshop. Here, one can peruse and purchase his novel, monographs or the catalogue (7 hand bound small books). The books themselves are exquisite to look and touch:
"Printed and bound in Italy; the covers are created out of handmade paper from Nepal which is sealed with natural beeswax; interior pages are printed on handmade Italian paper; each book is hand sewn and tied with thread stained with hibiscus tea leaves."
While we purchased some of the small books from the catalogue, we were told that Gregory Colbert was in the store signing books. So all our books have been signed by him. :)
Show is till June. After that, it will be traveling to the West Coast and overseas.
Please dress warmly. Museum is right over the river and outdoors. Gets drafty fast.
The traveling museum. If it happens to arrive in your town, please make a point to see it. It's totally worth it, you won't regret it.
General Admission is $12.
March 5 to June 6, 2005