Dylan Vitone: South Boston and Pittsburgh Project is featured in this Friday's Los Angeles Times Arts & Culture Section. The exhibition closes this Saturday, October 25th.
Dylan Vitone Dock Fight 2005 archival inkjet print 12 x 75 inches print size
When Daily Life is Seen in Panorama, by Leah Ollman
The panorama is among the least still of still photographic formats. Its horizontal sweep suggests breadth of time as well as place. You often can't see a panorama in its entirety from one spot; you have to move along it, progress through it.
The cinematic storytelling potential of the format is put to good use in Dylan Vitone's photographs at DNJ Gallery. Vitone, a young photographer teaching at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, creates panoramas up to 8 feet wide (and just 14 1/2 inches high) by digitally combining numerous pictures made from a single spot. The seams don't call much attention to themselves, so the images typically read as long, continuous, 360-degree views.
Working in the tradition of street photographers and social anthropologists such as Milton Rogovin and Bruce Davidson, Vitone makes extended portraits of communities through intimate observation of their everyday rituals. He has shot extensively in South Boston as well, though nearly all of the pictures here were made in Pittsburgh.
He surveys the scenes at a monster truck rally, a night at the roller rink, a bikini contest. He shoots the multiple narratives that unfurl simultaneously on a hot summer day when an Elmo sprinkler is set in the middle of a residential street. The pictures are dynamic -- rich in texture, detail and character. Vitone favors the natural choreography of the street over arranged poses, and the authenticity is palpable.
A few images mess effectively with the presumed congruency of linear time and linear format, showing the same figures multiple times in the same visually continuous scene. In "Dock Fight," time folds like an accordion, yielding a wonderfully syncopated image of two young men in various stages of light hand-to-hand combat.
DNJ Gallery, 154 1/2 N. La Brea Ave., L.A., (323) 931-1311, through Saturday. dnjgallery.net