Hallmark Museum of Contemporary Photography
56 Avenue A
Turners Falls, Massachusetts;/br>
Through March 29
The title of this astonishing show — Lux Perpetua, or “light forever” — is a surprisingly optimistic take, considering the tone of the work.
Three distinct series of images fathom the darkest elements of human memory and imagination. And yet, though these photographs by Josephine Sacabo unflinchingly face the worst — loss, madness, decay, nightmare and even death itself — their darkness does not exist for its own sake, but instead serves to draw out a luminous beauty that is defined, but never dominated, by shadow.
In the series “El Mundo Inalcanzable de Susana San Juan,” for instance, a resplendent face, hand, archway or other detail emerges from multiple, hazily layered sepia shades. Despite the subject matter — a woman’s descent into madness and ultimate embrace of death — the work portrays the beauty of the heroine, Susana. And yet it does so with neither glorification nor melodrama — indeed,