Paul Shambroom: Picturing Power

What do the three white-haired men of Lee, New Hampshire's Board of Selectmen, one-megaton nuclear bombs, and General Mills' corporate headquarters have in common? If you see the world the way Minneapolis-based photographer Paul Shambroom sees it, all of these things are symbols of extraordinary power. This exhibit is the first to bring together photos from Shambroom's successful series Factories, Nuclear Weapons, Meetings, Offices, and Security. For Meetings, Shambroom crossed America to take portraits of town councils. The resulting images show townspeople, often looking bored and complacent, wielding power over their small populations. Shambroom photographed several terror- and disaster-training facilities for Security. The series features numerous images of people in hazmat suits and SWAT armor as they train for battle and natural disasters. Most of these photos are posed portraits rather than action shots. For instance, instead of showing a man using a bomb-defusing robot, Shambroom photographed him standing by it, posed like an action figure shown with accessories. And in lieu of training cars being blown up, he shows the tangled, charred aftermath and notes what kind of car it was and how much explosive was used to annihilate it. Using seemingly magical powers to gain access to restricted places, Shambroom cuts through myths and conventions of power to show the power-holders in simple ways. Preview party 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, February 8.
Feb. 9-April 20, 2008

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