Nov 18, 2010

Unusual exhibit

Anyone who has ever been to the dump, the Crow Wing County Landfill, or the Cass County Recycling Center has been to Gina Dabrowski’s world. But the internationally acclaimed photographic artist from Northeast Minneapolis has done what nobody else would do. She has captured via large-format camera the immensity of our garbage collection and explored the cultural reality of trash disposal. “Refuse Reimaged” is her exhibit in the Central Lakes College Gallery on the Brainerd campus through Dec. 14. Images provide a unique perspective, including the people who patronize the modern-day, well-engineered and finite burial site of everything we throw away. Dabrowski gave a slide lecture to art students at CLC on Nov. 17, explaining the genesis of her multi-year photographic journey to numerous landfills. She showed images from a massive dump near Oaxaca, Mexico, as well as the recycling center north of Pine River and a landfill transfer station in Virginia. She retraced a commitment to provide the impressive apolitical account given praise from grant funders (McKnight, Minnesota State Arts Board, U.S. Department of Education) and kudos from a critical public audience (Minnesota Historical Society, Rochester, N.Y. Visual Studies Workshop, California Institute of the Arts, and numerous colleges and universities). Dabrowski is working on new projects, including a visual expose’ on old dumps long since reclaimed as useful public space, such as parks.