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Back to Basics 

When: Feb. 27-March 10 2008

We have a conditioned belief in gadgetry, to which Roy Berkowitz and Travis Kuhl take firm exception in their show at Industrielle. Both use cameras scorned by sharpest-image shutterbugs to demonstrate that low-tech gadgetry can, in knowledgeable hands, yield stunning results. Berkowitz uses a plastic Holga camera; designed to serve Communist China's teeming masses, it has minimal aperture, focus and shutter settings, but has won, its technical limitations seen as creative virtues, an international following. Berkowitz shoots intuitive tapestries of vignetted images by advancing the 120 roll film incrementally, creating dissociated dreamlike tableaux of NorthBeach, Paris, and Times Square. Kuhl uses lenslessSanta Barbara pinhole cameras and 4x5 film to capture long-exposure, soft-focus Pictorialist views of the Bilbao Guggenheim and Gaudi's La SagradaFamilia in Barcelona. Besotted Photoshopaholics, you may now safely power down.Through March 31 at Industrielle (33 West Grand St., Oakland).Industriellegallery.com or 510-271-0633. --


— DeWitt Cheng

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