Carol Golemboski: Mysteries and Magic
Mysteries and Magic highlights the photographic work of Carol Golemboski, spanning two and a half decades. Golemboski’s creative process, defined by the use of black-and-white film and alternative darkroom printing, straddles the line between photography and drawing, fact and fiction. Viewers are invited to interpret arrangements of tarnished and weathered objects, relying on the talismanic powers inherent in the vestiges of human presence. These images suggest a world in which ordinary belongings transcend their material nature to evoke the elusive presence of the past.
Golemboski photographs objects discovered in flea markets, estate sales, and antique shops, each with their own unknowable histories. Once photographed, they form a visual language that hints at the lives that once surrounded them. Ironically, these metaphorical images only reinforce the idea that the secrets of the past are forever lost to time.
With references to magic, Golemboski’s haunting imagery frequently incorporates darkroom trickery and subtle illusions. Many of her photographic curiosities were printed on fogged black-and-white paper that expired in the mid-20th century. Using alternative chemicals, resists, and homemade toners, she transforms these papers into simulations of magicians’ props, repurposing vintage materials that would ordinarily be destined for the trash bin.
Suggesting bygone eras, Golemboski’s photographs are often simultaneously dark and whimsical, conjuring a space where horror, history, and psychology occupy the same imaginative locale. They encourage the viewer to suspend disbelief, contemplate the passage of time, and consider the magic of the darkroom.
Carol Golemboski, Cheiromancy, 2003. Toned gelatin silver print, 17 1/4 x 17 1/4 inches. Courtesy of the artist
Carol Golemboski, Magic Wand No. 2, 2019. Gelatin silver lumen print/chemigram, 11 x 34 inches. Courtesy of the artist
Carol Golemboski, Linked Rings, 2018. Toned gelatin silver print, 9 x 28 1/2 inches. Courtesy of the artist
Stivers School for the Arts: Fifth Street Gallery
1313 E Fifth St
Dayton, OH 45402 (937) 542-4179
Free to the Public