Maybe the Moon Doesn’t Want Us
September 3 – October 17
Common Ground Gallery
As we find ourselves in the wake of the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing, Sharon Koelblinger has been reconsidering her relationship to the iconic photos of this event. These images leave much unanswered for Koelblinger personally: her grandfather worked as a contractor for NASA during the entirety of the Apollo program. He collected photographs and 8mm film of the projects he contributed to, but gaps in her memory of his professional narrative surfaced after his death.
This gap is where Koelblinger’s work emerges from, she examines the distinct physical and cognitive limitations of the human body. The primary materials in her work are photographs and mirrors: one freezes the body while the other is activated by it. The photographs in this exhibition express memories fraught with omissions, architecture that keeps neighbors distant, and fragments caught in a passing glance. In sculptural frames, she uses the same optically precise mirror that enables telescopes to peer deep into space to draw the viewer’s attention from the photograph to their own reflection. As humans, we use sophisticated tools to affirm our existence but remain unreliable narrators of our own stories: a single photo can only record one angle and even in viewing our mirrored reflection, the left side becomes the right.
About the artist:
Sharon Koelblinger works in photography and sculpture to bring awareness to our own perceptual limitations. Through presenting photographs in sculptural formats, she aims to disrupt traditional presentation methods, and propose new ways of viewing images. She has most recently exhibited her work in a solo exhibition at Vox Populi Gallery in Philadelphia and in group exhibitions at Target Gallery in Alexandria, ACRE Projects in Chicago and The Sculpture Center in Cleveland. She has recently been awarded residencies at I-Park in Connecticut, Kimmel Harding Nelson in Nebraska, ACRE in Wisconsin. Koelblinger holds an MFA in Photography from the Tyler School of Art and a BFA in Sculpture from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. She was awarded an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award for FY 2021.