“The Much-to-Consider Season”

Visitors might look at “The Much-to-Consider Season” and think something along the lines of, “naked people.” “Whatever happens, it’s still going to be a photo that a girl took of herself naked, and that’s fine,” says Ashley Maclean. “I think it can be just as complex as anything else.” The show features photographs by locals Maclean and Traci Matlock, who have been working together for almost two years. The pair’s past work consists, in large part, of nude self-portraits, but for “Season,” they utilized a few other bodies. The show includes Polaroid-looking photographs and large, framed prints of Matlock, Maclean and others — both covered and bare. The two say they’re addressing self-identity and consciousness, not political or gender messages.

“It has more to do with a physical reality of being than it has to do with ‘this is my female nudity,’” says Maclean. “Our ‘naked ladies’ are not a feminist response to naked ladies.” Matlock agrees, saying much of the meaning is derived from how the pair began collaborating. “[We started] with private images of ourselves that we only shared with ourselves,” Matlock says. “Then it grew into sharing with one another and then it almost accidentally grew into sharing with anyone else.”

Matlock met Maclean through a personal ad. Once they started posting photos on Flicker.com, they were soon getting more than 500,000 hits a week. This led to a blogging gig on Nerve.com, the online hipster hotspot for literature, art and music dealing with sexuality and relationships. They recently began showing work around town and in New York, and the relationship show no signs of fatigue. Both seem surprised they’re still able to work so comfortably together without stifling each other.

It’s rare to hear this kind of talk from collaborators; Matlock attributes it to the pair’s mutual respect and admiration. “I do think about her whether or not she’s present in mind — she’s on my mind. Her influence is on my mind.” 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays. Through January 12. Gallery 1724, 1724 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-523-2547 or visit www.gallery1724.com. Free.
Wednesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Starts: Dec. 8. Continues through Jan. 12, 2007

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Dusti Rhodes
Contact: Dusti Rhodes