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Memory City
September 29, 2014
by Alex Webb
Photographers ALEX WEBB and REBECCA NORRIS WEBB bring their signature "two looks" to Boston this fall with two distinct exhibitions of work. The husband and wife team's most recent collaboration, Memory City - a yearlong photographic study of Rochester, New York, Eastman Kodak Company's hometown - will be shown at ROBERT KLEIN GALLERY (38 Newbury St) from Saturday, September 27, through Friday, October 31. The show opens with a reception, artists' talk, and book signing on September 27 from 2 to 5 PM.

Slant Rhymes, a selection of Webb and Norris Webb's images from past projects paired together for their visual similarities, will be on display at the gallery's satellite space, ROBERT KLEIN GALLERY @ ARS LIBRI (500 Harrison Ave), from Friday, October 3, through Friday, October 31. The show opens during October's SoWa First Friday from 5:30 to 7:30 PM on Friday, October 3.

Webb and Norris Webb took five trips to Rochester, New York, from April 2012 to April 2013 following Kodak's declaration of bankruptcy in January 2012. The resulting photographs, compiled in Memory City (Radius Books, 2014), have been heralded as "both melancholy and charming" (New Statesman) and a "recognition of embodied looking" (Fraction Magazine).

In the booklet Notes on Film and Memory that accompanies Memory City, Norris Webb muses: "Is it the waiting I'll miss most of all? Film insists on this: time becomes a collaborator." Norris Webb used color film for all her pictures in the book. Webb, on the other hand, used Kodachrome, a positive color slide film he "used almost exclusively for more than 30 years" and which can now only be processed to make black and white negatives. For his color images interspersed throughout the series, Webb used a digital camera. The pair's thoughtful use of the medium - and the implications that each choice has and has had on the notion of photography itself - runs the course of the series and gives it an unmistakable sense of urgency.

This is Webb and Norris Webb's second exhibition together at Robert Klein Gallery; their first, Violet Isle, took place in 2011 in conjunction with their eponymous show at Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Norris Webb's personal project, My Dakota, was shown at Robert Klein Gallery @ Ars Libri in 2012.

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