Lynne Cohen at Olga Korper (17 Morrow) to December 3. 416-538-8220. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNNN
lynne cohen's large-scale photographs celebrate human achievement minus the humans.She photographs places where we hone our skills, alter ourselves or our world -- testing facilities, laboratories and spas.
Shot after the people have vacated the premises, the pictures feel empty, cold and dispassionate -- like a Stanley Kubrick movie.
In one shot of a military facility, a burly tank sits in a low-roofed warehouse. Rows of fluorescent lights barely clear the turret. It faces a cheery piece of scenery as if targeting the only innocence in sight.
Cohen records a fascinating composition in a soundproof room. A dummy's blue torso and head rest on a cart in the centre of a thickly insulated room. Three concert-sized speakers surround the figure menacingly -- each no more a few steps away -- ready to unleash a sonic assault.
Bathed in whites and blues, a clinical spa feels all the more sterile without any human presence. Rows of lounge chairs sit empty, waiting.
While most of these are colour photos, a few are black-and-white, and most of these just don't resonate as much as the others.
An exception is a photo of a police shooting range where five small round targets are set on poles in a large empty space. The targets are painted white to jump out from the background, and the black-and-white photo highlights the contrast. One pole is longer than the others, breaking the pattern.
It's a masterfully composed piece by a master email@example.com