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Art: Construence at Iris BookCafe

By Jane Durrell · July 6th, 2010 · CityBeat Recommends

Ardine Nelson makes poetic photographs of considerable beauty using flimsy camera equipment or simply creating her own pin-hole camera with a clay garden pot. Ardine Nelson: Construence at Over-the-Rhine's Iris BookCafé has a title as hand-made as her camera -“Construence” seems to come from “construe,” meaning piecing together. She also puts the strip film of a give-away toy camera to extraordinary use by merging images along its length.

These photographs are almost narratives - What’s the merry-go-round horse doing in front of the ravaged wall? Is the classical statuary mixing in with outdoor café furniture waiting to be served? And don't overlook her artwork in the "water closet." If you ask, and the staff isn’t busy, someone will show you Nelson’s actual clay pot/camera. The works here are very different from Nelson’s large-scale color prints of Dresden gardens seen at the Weston Gallery last summer. Construence runs through October 22. Hours at Iris, 1331 Main St., are 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday.-Thursday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday (10 p.m. Final Fridays), 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday.

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