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Friday, June 30, 2006 

Eric Bragg’s Automatic Smoke Signals

In the author’s own words,
Automatic Smoke Signals is “not really an art book, but a cycle of images representing an interpretive delirium.” At times reminiscent of Matta’s paintings, these photographic documents of natural phenomena invite us into the mystery of transient forms caused by the interplay of fire and air. Bragg’s surrational and often humorous captions accompany each image, and suggest to the reader elements of a personal mythology.

If it’s occasionally challenging to decipher the smoke in the manner of the text, other images immediately leap out, in a convulsive shock of recognition. The reader may then be pleased to find their discovery confirmed in Bragg’s poetic narratives. The photographer is aware that these images celebrating mad love are open to interpretation. The scenes and creatures of chance brought to life in a flash of light summon laughter and a new way of seeing as they unfold into the air of surprised revelation.

MK Shibek

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