Rolling farmlands, looming factories, majestic matter-of-factness – these descriptions apply to Ohio as a cultural and geographic site distinct from other regions of the United States. But what can that mean for photographers working in our midst? “Delicious Fields” derives from “Champs Delicieux,” a portfolio of photograms created by Man Ray and published by Tristan Tzara in Paris in 1922. As an avant-garde publication heralding the beginning of photographic surrealism in Paris, the images in Champs Delicieux represented revolution in their own time and are reprised in experimental contemporary photography. Man Ray’s images, created by placing everyday objects onto a sheet of photographic paper exposed to light, offered a scrambling of reality. Just so, the nine Ohio photographers exhibited here overlay personal narrative on the Ohio landscape, or conversely, subject this and other topography to overt manipulation and examination. What results is a selection of photographic work imbued with the spirit of the enigmatic, as descended from its French forbearers.
Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland. 8501 Carnegie Ave. 216-421-8671 or mocacleveland.org. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday (until 8 p.m. Wednesday). $4; $3, senior citizens and students with ID (free on Friday). The Cleveland Play House provides secure parking for $7.50. Exhibit: “Delicious Fields: Nine Ohio Photographers at Work.” Works by Jodi Boatman, Bruce Checefsky, Joy Christiansen Erb, Mary Fahy, Marcella Hackbardt, Benjamin Montague, Ardine Nelson, Pipo Nguyen-Duy and Jordan Tate. Opening reception: 7-10 p.m. today. Through Sunday, Aug. 21.