THE Aperture Gallery's "Color Infrared" exhibit - a truly unique, ocular experience - showcases the interpretations of 13 photographers who all used one type of film: Ektachrome Professional Infrared EIR Film. This extremely temperamental film - donated by Eastman Kodak, the sponsor of the exhibit - is not the type one simply pops into one's camera and begins shooting. Besides being more than double the expense of other transparency film, EIR requires an advanced understanding of filtration, exposure and processing.
(EIR is a "false color" film; the colors one actually sees are not recorded as such on the film. When blue light passes through the recommended filter, it becomes black on the film. Red is reproduced as green and green in reproduced as blue. Objects reflecting infrared will be reproduced as red. Photographers can use EIR to create bizarre pictorial effects. By using a yellow filter, one can achieve a green sky and purple or red foliage. The variations are limitless.)The 13 participating photographers met together often, comparing transparency results and sharing information. The actual prints in "Color Infrared" were created through using Cibachrome, reversal paper, the Epson Color Stylus ink-jet printer and the Durst Lambda 130, a 50-inch laser imager that writes directly to photographic materials with extreme clarity.
Walking through Aperture Gallery, one is immediately struck by the unusual and intense colors on display. Ben Altman's "Untitled" is a female torso, shrouded in gossamer fabric. Beautifully composed, when the see-through fabric rests against the model's flesh the result is a pulsating orange. Where the fabric is bunched, it burns hot red, coercing the eye to move frantically over the body.
In Bob Bauer's "Why Leaves are Green," deep, warm-red foliage blazes, humorously negating the title. Angie Brown's "T. Lane" is an Andre Kertesz-like portrait a la "modern primitive." The tattooed, pierced, leather-clad model is posed on an oddly designed couch, gazing at nothing in particular. Both photographs intrigue.
Brett Colvin's "Untitled" portrait is reminiscent of the now color-faded and bleached fashion portraits of the 1940s and '50s. However, the face of the model is exquisite, ablaze with reds, oranges and diverse flesh tones. Carl Kunz' "Untitled" (there's a great deal of untitled works in the exhibit) is a monolithic female who looks to have had a brush with Christo, the conceptual artist famous for wrapping buildings or surrounding islands with curtains. Bundled and tied in a red shroud on a barren landscape, the model's cadaver-like face is covered by either red blotches or lacy, mottled cloth. With the odd coloring, it is an unearthly image.
Douglas Pulsipher's "Bruised Baroque #2" is a luscious still life whose ivy and broccoli have been transmogrified into red. And even though the strawberries have become the color of pus, the photograph is beautifully composed and a pleasure to look at, as is Kim Riley's "Untitled," a tin-tinted Frosty Root Beer outdoor sign poised against a complimentary colored sky.
Peter Firth, Tyler Jacobsen, Whitney King, Rodger Newbold, Dennis Meacham and Jairo Wil-ches are the other accomplished photographers exhibiting in "Color Infrared," which runs through Oct. 12.
The Aperture Gallery, 307 W. 200 South, #1004, Salt Lake City, is located in the Crane Building. For more information on the exhibit, call 801-363-9700.