The Rituals Surrounding Love

This is the final few days to see As Above, so Below, a series of photographs by Kathleen Gerdon Archer. The photos are the most warm, illuminated views of icy objects you could imagine, especially in light of our record-breakingly snowy February in Boston. If you’d like a way to embrace the frostiness surrounding us, then make your way to Kingston Gallery.

This was my favorite. You MUST see it in person, as Kathy is clearly the photographer, and not me!

The photos are portraits of love, made in the most unexpected way. Archer suspends carefully selected items, including photographs of family members, in ice, and then systematically thaws and freezes them as she seeks the right views to photograph.The images become landscapes, and the objects mysterious, chromatic or textural mood-setters. The fields of smooth white made me think of paintings by Marilyn Minter, and the sense of crafted yet vast outdoor space recall photographs by Lori Kella.

This is but a segment of the show-there’s another arrangement around the corner that you wouldn’t want to miss.

Archer’s process of collecting and then freezing the items together, one arrangement for each person or specific group of people close to her, is a ritual that honors and perhaps clarifies the nature of her attachments. She thinks of the freezing and thawing process each arrangement undergoes as using simple biology to transform how the collected items relate.

We associate ice and cold with remoteness, but when we shiver, it prompts closeness. We seek an embrace or even huddle with strangers at a bus stop. The shots in As Above, so Below are intense close-ups of objects, but they are obscured by the ice surrounding them, enabling Archer to use personal, specific means to share elegant and universal sentiments.

-Shana Dumont Garr, (brand new) Gallery Director


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