Widely known for his photographs that incorporate room-scale camera obscuras, Abelardo Morell creates innovative and surprising images that encourage us to question the way we see.
From pictures that explored the world with the wonder of a child’s eye view made at home following the birth of his son in 1986, Morell began an investigation into the material nature of familiar objects. The resulting photographs, many of which capture distortions and diffractions of light, or juxtapositions created within the camera, reveal a keen interest in optical idiosyncrasy. He emphasizes that the camera always manipulates what we perceive, and in the process, transforms the everyday into something special—often evident in a spirit of playfulness that imbues his work.
Morell’s use of the camera obscura draws upon these concerns while engaging the beginnings of the medium. After demonstrating the effect to his students at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, he began placing a camera within the camera to capture the resolved images over a period of time. While initially created in interior spaces, his picture-making has recently moved outdoors with the use of a tent camera that allows Morell to overlay his projections with the ground on which they are made.
Morell was born in Havana, Cuba, in 1948 and lives in Boston. He holds an MFA from Yale University. A major traveling retrospective of his work, The Universe Next Door, was shown at The Art Institute of Chicago, the John Paul Getty Museum, and the High Museum of Art in 2013–14.
Doors will open at 6:30 pm.
Tickets will be $5 for students, $10 for DAM members and CPAC members, $15 for general admission.
Purchase admission now to Untitled, the museum’s mixed-media late night program with cash bar, snacks, and programming scheduled before and after the lecture, and receive a discounted price to the lecture.
Sponsored by the DAM Photography Department. Series funding generously provided by Evan and Elizabeth Anderman.
Image credit: Abelardo Morell, White Paper Bag, 2014. ©Abelardo Morell