Thomas Cummins
Curated by Kevin Rayhons at The February Collective

"At Blue Star’s February Collective gallery, Thomas Cummins is showing two light boxes, which he made with the aid of an Artist Foundation grant. The photographs hang directly opposite one another in a small space, encouraging the inevitable dialogue. They share the same subject: a barn cum artists’ studio down the road from Blue Star that was condemned because of asbestos contamination and unceremoniously demolished. Cummins captured the images approximately eight months apart. The first picture, which shows the structure still intact, was taken during the day. Sunlight streams through a partially open overhead door, infusing the room with warmth. Red flags, left behind after some sort of gathering, hang from the rafters. The other image, taken at night, shows the building’s shell after the destruction has begun. Artificial light floods the space, casting an eerie glow; the walls are gone, but tattered strips of those red flags remain. Cummins’s installation ponders the interplay between the things we own, need, use, and create, and the spaces in which we house them. In his words, “You can think of a space without objects, but you can’t think of objects without a space.” Cummins was one of the tenants who was suddenly displaced when EPA ordered a site cleanup, and these pictures succeed in conveying the sense of emptiness and confusion the residents must have felt when they were forced to move."

SA Current, August 12, 2009 (www) (pdf)

August 2009