Laband Art Gallery Presents Five Photographic Series by Artist Richard Ehrlich


Richard Ehrlich does not photograph people, yet their existence is keenly felt in the ordinary objects and structures he depicts. “The Presence of Absence” will be featured at the Laband Art Gallery from Sept. 19 through Nov. 22. Ehrlich’s haunting, color-saturated images remind us of the vulnerability we all share. The exhibition includes selected images from five series: abandoned diamond mining areas in Namibia; graffiti from the now-demolished Belmont Park in Los Angeles; a deserted, decaying Cook County Hospital in Chicago; a defunct sugar mill in Maui; and German archival documents that echo the individual lives consumed by the Holocaust. With his photographs, Ehrlich pays homage to the people who lived in these environments and invites viewers to confront the harsh realities of human beings’ capacity to exploit each other. He reminds us also of the temporality of human existence.

PUBLIC PROGRAMS: In conjunction with the exhibit, the Laband will host three public programs:

An Evening of Dance and Discussion
Thursday, Oct. 1, 2009, 7:00 p.m.
Choreographer Kristen Smiarowski will perform “The Key Game” based on a fictional story by Polish Holocaust survivor Ida Fink. LMU student dancers will perform original pieces in response to Ehrlich’s photographs; Paul Harris, professor of English at LMU, will lead a discussion responding to the performances and their relationship to the photographs.

Gallery Tour with Richard Ehrlich
Thursday, Oct. 8, 2009, 12:30–1:30 p.m.
The artist will lead a discussion of his works and artistic process in the gallery.

Bellarmine Forum Artist’s Speak and Reception
Saturday, Oct. 31, 2009, 2-4 p.m. (presentation) 4-6 p.m. (reception)
In conjunction with LMU’s 2009 Bellarmine Forum and the Laband Gallery will host a reception from 4 to 6 p.m. The reception will follow Artist’s Speak, a presentation on the subject of human vulnerability by LMU students through creative writing, dance, theater arts, music, film and visual arts in Murphy Recital Hall.