And what about our grandfather's? Do you know how to change the oil in your car, build a piece of furniture, or ---other than yanking the chain a few times---repair the toilet? Well, they do. The years they spent learning a craft, whether it be cooking, building, or fixing, we spent on our cell phones and computers, limiting our knowledge of art forms that empower us with the ability to take care of ourselves.
In it, contemporary artists explore alternative photographic processes, some more than 100 years old, and combine them with current topics and methods. It's a small exhibition whose precious pictures demand your time and contemplation; it's educational; and---for lack of a better word---it's lovely, due mostly to the sensitivity of its curator, Dina Mitrani.
Early photographers didn't need automatic focus or a digital printer and often spent hours capturing a single image. What can we learn from them? Attention, tireless discipline, devotion, an intimate understanding of process.... Our artists are smart enough to move into the future while incorporating valuable lessons and techniques from the past, enriching their work and enhancing their wisdom. So maybe it's time we all followed suit, photocopying grandma's recipe box or face-timing with dad for a lesson under the hood. After all, knowledge is power. And when our parents and our parents' parents are gone, we don't want to be left with knowing how to, not, "do."
The Dina Mitrani Gallery is located at 2620 NW 2nd Ave, Miami, FL. "Historic Process/Contemporary Visions" is on view through August 31.
This article was originally written for publication with The Miami New Times Blog, Cultist. This writing, as well as others by the author, can be accessed here: