I attended the opening of Benita Carr’s latest exhibition, Morning Sun, at Whitespace Gallery on Friday night. Known for her portraits, Carr was featured at the Smithsonian Portraiture Gallery in Washington, D.C. a couple of years ago. She has been working on this newest exhibit, which features photography and video installations, since then and has expanded her portraits to include mothers and their children.
The work explores how a mother can lose her sense of artistic freedom while raising children. Carr peels away the layers of reality by photographing families in their homes and backyards, while the “realness” of day to day living is juxtaposed with gorgeous colors and fanciful play things. Two short films on loop show a tap dancing daughter and her mom and a celloist trying to practice while caring for her children. The children demand things from their mom as she plays, while other ambient “domestic” sounds drift through including the noise of a washing machine the sounds of doing the wash, practicing the cello.
It’s both a risque and haunting exhibit. I recommend stopping by WhiteSpace, located at 814 Edgewood Ave., and checking it out. It runs through Feb. 18.