This is a past event.


When: July 11-Aug. 1 2015
Price: Free
In one of Jason Henry’s photos in Subjects, the two-person show now on view at Athen B gallery (1525 Webster St., Oakland), a pre-teen boy wearing a baby-blue American Eagle sweatshirt stares wildly into the camera with drool running down his chin and a bluetooth headset tucked inside his ear. It’s one in a series of photos that Henry took in North Dakota communities that are home to nuclear missiles built during the Cold War. In another, a bunch of balloons printed with familiar artificial imagery of tree bark and leaves floats weightlessly, brightly reflecting the light with a superficial sheen. Henry’s work speaks to the lies that Americans tell themselves in order to feel a sense of security, while evoking an underlying threat of impending doom. Subjects also includes photos by Shawn Bush, who traveled through California expecting utopian landscapes and instead found cheap constructions of happiness in the form of amusement parks and shopping malls. Both photographers aim to dissect the layers of delusion that make up the quintessential American national identity — one that we don’t often see represented in East Bay galleries.
— Sarah Burke


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