SK Josefsberg Studio
403 NW 11th Ave., 241-9112
Through July 15
The current show at SK Josefsberg features the work of French photographer Marc Riboud and Oregonian Dianne Kornberg. Both artists are masters of the photographic process and even though their conceptual aims only slightly intersect, the show reveals that their work is complementary; both Riboud and Kornberg capitalize on the vulnerability of their subjects.
A sampling of Riboud's photographs from the 1950's and '60s occupy the main gallery. His allegiance to the Magnum Agency (collective of photographers founded by Henri Cartier-Bresson et al) shines through in his attempts to jam as much as possible of the human condition into a split second.
Images of people in candid, sometimes provocative or humorous posture, seek to define politics and culture in terms of the personal. For example, Riboud's "Unexploded Bomb, Vietnam, 1969" offers a glimpse into a tense society that exists between a woman, a dog, and a steel-cold bomb dropped in the middle of her thatched hut courtyard.
Riboud's subjects are vulnerable in that they become individual specimens held up as symbols for much larger social exchanges. Dianne Kornberg's Inchoations series consists of photographs of animal embryos. Their bi-nominal Latin titles create a pretext of scientific coolness.
However, the images are so lush with the transluscence of flesh tones that a degree of intimacy becomes unavoidable. In "Equus Caballus," a tiny horse embryo curls within an earthen bowl. Like Riboud, Kornberg capitalizes on the vulnerability of her subjects. The spiraled horse fetus is a medallion symbolizing rebirth, life, and beauty transcendent of the diaphorous envelope that is skin.