Outside/In

Please join us on Wednesday, March 15 from 5:00 - 7:00 pm for the opening reception.


For over a decade, Boston artist Kevin Dacey has been photographing cultural spaces such as museums and libraries, creating liquidy surfaces of reflection that dissolve the boundaries between outside and in: between nature and culture, between reality and its multiple refractions.  Launching the artist’s yearlong residency at the Redwood – part of the new Redwood Contemporary Arts Initiative - this exhibition presents Dacey’s initial meditations on the ins and outs of this eighteenth-century institution.  In Redwood (RW1), 2017, exterior and interior fold into one another, books appear to stream out of the dark hollow of a tree – as if reverting to the wood that forms their papery pages – and an emerald velvet armchair nuzzles the verdant lawn.  

Taken at a wintery Redwood, Dacey’s recent photographs join three earlier bodies of work. Vitrine focuses on museum cases, confusing our sense of what lies within these glass houses or outside them. In NowWhen, spectral museum-goers float in sweeps of white light. And in DateTime, brilliant large-format photographs are pierced by points of light that spell out cryptic streams of dates: 1917, 1929, 1973, 1989. Unmoored from their bibliographic context (the last corpus is in fact photographs of journals from Harvard’s Art and Architecture Library), these images present themselves as open fields for projection, inviting a wide range of associations prompted by these seemingly random years.  

In this way, Dacey’s photographs also blur the line between material and cerebral, between reality and imagination, pressing the question: What is located in the photograph and what is our external projection onto it? Which is, of course, just another way of asking: where is our outside and where is in