Karine Laval: Heterotopia
26 February – 9 July, 2019. San Francisco Airport, Terminal 1 (post security)
In her series, Heterotopia, Brooklyn-based artist Karine Laval produces dreamlike images that challenge and transform our experience of the natural world. The series’ title is borrowed from French philosopher Michel Foucault, who used the word to describe places that exist in the world, but are “neither here, nor there,” explains Laval. And while her source material may be recognizable—various private and public gardens throughout the United States and Europe—the resulting images are abstracted, distorted, and shifted into another realm altogether.
Utilizing two-way mirrors and Mylar sheeting, the artist uses the natural environment as both subject matter and plein air studio, transforming ordinary landscapes into a series of kaleidoscopic composites that oscillate between the real and the imaginary. Riding a fine line between representation and abstraction, Laval’s images challenge our perception and highlight photography’s ability to simultaneously reveal, conceal, and distort reality.