The Utah Arts Festival has a life outside of its few days of artists booths in the early summer. In addition to organizing the festival, which is a year-round effort, the festival’s office space in the new Artspace studios on 500 West houses mementos of festivals past as well as regular shows of local artists.
This month’s opening features photographers Matt Glass and Haynes Goodsell sharing the visual stage for “Images or Illusions.” That might be a question to be asked of the photographic art form in general. Modern photography has come to embrace all manner of digital manipulations and has progressed far from its original purpose of documentation, when it left impressionistic and expressionistic visions to those brain-addled brush-wielders.
Both featured photographers use very unreal images to make statements about the documentary function of their art form. Matt Glass (detail from “Arachne” is pictured) has created photographs focused on doomsday cults. He augments the photographs with journal entries, artifacts and video to provide further insight and depth. It’s enough to make actual journalists take another look at their calling.
Haynes Goodsell’s works demonstrate photography as a three-dimensional form, lending a new sense of realism to the images. But the objects in these photographic prints seem projected through a mirror that is part kaleidoscope and part looking glass that peers into an alternative landscape in which symmetry is somehow unsettling.