571 Projects is pleased to present Sandra Elkind: Flat Pennies & Other Tales, an exhibition of new works. This is Elkind's first New York solo show, and her first with the gallery. In this newest body of work the artist explores narratives of recalled personal memories through the construction and photographic documenting of miniature dioramas.
Memory is a moving terrain, a strange link between our past and present. Yet it does not fully belong to one or the other. In her newest body of work, Elkind sets out to capture elusive moments of recalled memories, building intricate miniature spaces, simulacra that evoke the particular feelings of a time and space that she seeks to anchor. Using shallow depth of field, her compelling photographs play with the contrast between small areas of sharp focus and a painterly blurring of the other compositional elements. Mystery plays an important part in these dreamlike images. Each is clearly part of a narrative excerpted from a larger whole relying on the viewer to complete the story. Elkind's carefully constructed miniature sets are a clear fabrication, a constructed 'reality' that stands in or 'signifies' the reality of the memory. The act of photographing these symbolic spaces recalls the family snapshot and the role that the camera plays in holding memories. In fact, each set incorporates a photograph of an actual time and space (a sunset or a green landscape for example) that is woven into the fabric of the new image. The act of appropriating the images in new contexts underlines the slippage that so often occurs with our memories; we change details within them consciously or unconsciously, overlaying the original experience with our constructs. Documented through large c-prints, Elkind plays with scale, from the miniature to the magnified. Evocative, compelling and mysterious, the works in Flat Pennies & Other Tales engage the viewer and communicate half-hidden narratives.
Elkind completed her MFA at Parsons – The New School for Design in 2010 and has had solo shows at Buntport Gallery (Denver, Colorado) and Sugar Lounge (Denver, Colorado). She has participated in group exhibitions at Tsinghua University, (Beijing, China), Vinyl, Jazz B Studios, Den Gallery, Forest Room 5, and Gallery Stain (all Denver, Colorado). Her work has been featured in Shot Magazine and she was selected to participate in the Parsons in China residency in 2009. She was awarded a Dean’s Scholarship to Parsons The New School for Design (2008-2010), and won the Consumer Choice Family Portrait of the Year in 2004. Elkind currently lives and works in Denver, Colorado.