Pictura Gallery

Carol Golemboski | Magic Show

September 28, 2021


Making a print in the darkroom, regardless of how well we understand the science, still feels like pure magic. You push a blank sheet into chemistry, and it emerges moments later as a real image. In the darkroom, the greater the technician, the greater the magician. And Carol Golemboski is a wizard. She puts a whole hatful of tricks into her prints, skillfully and playfully manipulating objects, props, drawing materials, photographic paper and chemistry to produce each image.

Magic holds its own particular aesthetic, one of stars, wands, and hypnotic lines. The cast consists of two-dimensional royalty, court jesters, the seductive curves and points of clubs and spades. Golemboski’s Magic Show rolls out a large number of pieces, unfurling like a scroll along the wall. They keep your attention, keep your eyes roving and searching, keep you from making too much sense of any one thing.

In every print, Golemboski deals out some sort of riddle or visual trick. The prints pull you into an interaction. You may start to feel that you’re not just passively looking at them. You begin to suspect them. You can’t help but wonder if each piece masks a slight of hand, that perhaps there’s something under the surface to be understood, or a transformation in progress.

- Mia Dalglish + Lisa Woodward

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