As different as quantum physics and photography may be, one USF graduate student has found a medium “synchronizing” these two ideas.
The Marshall Student Center (MSC) Centre Gallery’s “Synchronicity” exhibition, which ends Friday, features graduate student Fred Pirone’s work and investigates how “thoughts that are apparently separate are actually connected instantaneously through space-time,” according to the press release.
Pirone, who is studying applied anthropology and art, uses a medium format film camera to capture multiple images occurring at the same moment.
Since his return to USF in 2005 to complete his post doctorate work, Pirone has been developing the concept behind “Synchronicity.” He said he is primarily seeking to discover how time and space can bring seemingly random objects together in a meaningful way.
“I’m finding it harder to believe that concepts and practices throughout the universe are random,” Pirone said. “Many people think my range of interests – like archaeology, photography, business, law and quantum physics -(are) random. But they are unified through me, not only because I use a science-based theory to create art, but because I have a genuine interest in all of them.”
“Face of Synchronicity” conveys this idea of dual images’ potential significance – natural and manmade. While Pirone was developing a photograph of a Florida home, an unplanned image of a face distorted the original backdrop.
One may also see a beach scene at first glance. A rippled, aquamarine foreground appears to be water and a blurred palm tree rises in the center of what looks like sand. Yet after a closer look, the image the camera originally captured becomes apparent – a concrete Florida neighborhood.
Another piece called “Market” combines a Tampa Bay farmer’s market with a shot of wooden crosses and ethereal, golden clouds running across the picture’s bottom half.
Like his other displayed photography and the overall theme of his art, Pirone said “Face of Synchronicity” and “Market” exemplify the ways in which nature and life in the universe connect with each other.
Each piece of artwork on display at the Centre Gallery is a composite of multiple images. Many images are recognizable buildings found throughout downtown Tampa and along Bayshore Boulevard.
Other pieces without specific Tampa locations still offer familiar Floridian ties – using visuals of the Gulf of Mexico, sunlight and palm trees.
“I was interested in Pirone’s work because it’s a film camera,” said Centre Gallery’s director of operations and USF art history graduate student Lauren Branzei. “Many people are in denial about Pirone’s work because it looks edited.”
Pirone said he expected to have some skeptics and came prepared. A group of his negatives were on display showing his step-by-step technique to his work.
Each negative captured various landmarks, shops and scenes from his lifelong Tampa residence that act as chapters in his visual autobiography.
Steve Yancar, a senior majoring in studio art, said he was greatly impressed by the whole of “Synchronicity.”
“I can’t believe how deep Pirone’s work is,” Yancar said. “His concept clearly circulates throughout his images, his life and the lives of the people who took the other pictures.”
Immediately inside the gallery are five pictures unlike the others that represent Pirone’s continuing inspiration. These pictures are his attempt to recreate seven childhood dreams, which he said still influence his thoughts and art today.
“When I was a child, this particular dream of a pinwheel burned itself into my brain and is still an inspiration for my work today,” Pirone said.
In honor of the vision that began his exploration, Pirone offered guests a colorful pinwheel to take home at last Friday’s reception.
Centre Gallery is located in MSC 2700 and is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information on the gallery and upcoming exhibitions, go to ctr.usf.edu/gallery.