Pedro Meyer, The Temptation of the Angel, La Mixteca, Oaxaca, Mexico, 1991, digital pigment print of a digitally modified image scanned from 35mm color transparencies, 33 x 44 in., Collection of the Akron Art Museum, Gift of the artist and the Evelyne Shaffer Endowment for Exhibitions. © Pedro Meyer 2008/from Heresies: A Retrospective by Pedro Meyer.

Heresies: A Retrospective by Pedro Meyer

December 6, 2008 - February 22, 2009
Fred and Laura Ruth Bidwell Gallery

Since contemporary Mexican photographer Pedro Meyer has produced groundbreaking images over the last four decades, why should his retrospective exhibition be ordinary? The Akron Art Museum joins with fifty-eight other museums in twenty-five countries to simultaneously present diverse aspects of Meyer’s art this fall and winter.

Meyer is internationally renowned both for his powerful photographs and his pioneering work with digital imaging. It will be impossible for the viewer to accurately identify which of the 11 large-scale images in the Akron exhibition have been digitally modified and which are “straight” photographs. Meyer contends that all photographs – whether digitally manipulated or not – are equally “true” and “untrue.” Some documentary photographers call that view “heretical.” Meyer loves to be provocative, so decided to adapt the epithet as the title of his retrospective.

The photographs in Akron explore manifestations of religion from carnival floats, religious statuary and homemade shrines in Mexico and Brazil to a Bible thumper on the streets of New York. Religion is a complex topic for Meyer, who was born in 1935 in Spain, where his German-Jewish parents fled the Nazis. Repatriated to Germany, Meyer and his family escaped en route to a concentration camp and eventually settled in Mexico City. There, signs of spiritual belief are omnipresent in daily life. Meyer, who even attended a Catholic school, always felt like an outsider. Through these images, Meyer – the intimate outsider – explores the mystery of the power of faith.

For more information on the artist and the Heresies project, visit www.PedroMeyer.com.

This exhibition is organized by the Akron Art Museum and supported by the museum’s Evelyne Shaffer Endowment for Exhibitions.

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