Melissa Catanese


The Lottery
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The Lottery
at Light Work Kathleen O. Ellis Gallery
March 21 - July 22, 2022
Installation images courtesy of Julie K. Herman

In the exhibition, Catanese makes great use of dynamics. The scale and variety of works suggests mania and unrest. Never allowed to settle into a routine, the viewer encounters swings of emotion from one image to the next. This work comes together as thin ice over a dark pond. 

Catanese’s work is unglued from any specific time, divorcing images from any single maker and criss-cross several human life spans. Catanese is a master at picking up new pathways of connections between images. Her image choices, editing, layering and skilled juxtaposition succeed in creating a narrative equal parts parable and speculative fiction, told at a fork in an eroding road.

Excerpt from Contact Sheet 216, essay by Dan Boardman, Director at Light Work

How did you end up there?

Traveling towards Big Bend, I ended up

pulling up to this magnetic pole of what.

This Worldly pull of that. Alien.

A landscape that felt an image.

A surface beyond Earth, this other planetary

place. A science fiction pole.

And did you end up there, meaning

attracted to...?

You mean cruel brutal landscapes? I’m

inaccessible, and I’m industrial.

Not dark but full of potential and optimism,

in a dystopic way. This topic optimism.

Do you see yourself in those landscapes,

when you look at them?

No, I see the future. A spread.

Excerpt from The Last Transcript by Nicholas Muellner, words to accompany The Lottery.
Contact Sheet 212: Light Work Annual 2021
Read the full text here.

Melissa Catanese: The Lottery from Light Work on Vimeo.

Melissa Catanese: The Lottery exhibition walkthrough from Light Work
Music: "Pacing" by Blue Dot Sessions 
Video: Daylight Blue Media