The UMKC Gallery of Art announces the first exhibit of the spring semester, Images Flash. The exhibit opens Thursday, Jan. 25 and runs through Saturday, Feb. 24. An Opening Reception is scheduled for 5 – 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 25 in the UMKC Gallery of Art, Room 203, Fine Arts Building, 5015 Holmes St.
Images Flash juxtaposes two artists who consider the experience of war. The work of James H. Rifenbark and Diana Heise provide excellent examples of human expression made tangible through lens-based mediums. The title of the exhibition, Images Flash, comes from the name of one of Rifenbark’s poems.
This exhibition features images produced during the Vietnam War. The photographs by Rifenbark were produced for the Army as a means to document the war and surrounding events. Heise’s work draws from 35mm slides and 8mm film footage, which was shot by her uncle, William J Kayfus III, during his three tours as a crew chief/door gunner. Rifenbark took his photographs during one year of service from December of 1970 to November of 1971, while stationed in Long Binh and Pleiku. Rifenbark’s photographic documentation drifts away from the horrors of war and instead reflects on humanity, humor and perseverance in times of extreme violence.
Heise’s work Eyeshot is a 20-minute visual essay that investigates the nature of fighting in combat. Through the process of looking at her uncle’s films, photographs, and objects and recording their conversations, this work resulted in a non-polemical exploration into the effects of war and violence upon an individual, their community and their country. Using the Vietnam-American conflict as a starting point, Eyeshot addresses our need to understand how armed conflict continues to impact us today.
The exhibition also includes two companion pieces, Duration and September-December 1966. Each draw their influence from structural filmmaking to find methods to engage Bill Kayfus’ archive of images and use strategies other than linear narrative to elucidate the power and effect of war.
The exhibition is curated by Poppy Di Candeloro and Meghan Dohogne in conjunction with the UMKC Gallery of Art. All photographs are for sale. Please inquire at the UMKC Gallery Front Desk with questions. All proceeds have been graciously gifted to the UMKC Gallery of Art by the artist, James H. Rifenbark.