Upside Down and Backwards

Mitch Kern

Upside Down and Backwards will take place:
Thursday June 22, 11 am – 9 pm
Friday June 23, 11 am – 9 pm
Saturday June 24, 11 am – 9 pm

A 1975 camping trailer is transformed into a mobile, room-sized camera obscura. The device creates colorful, moving images on the walls inside the device’s chamber, upside down and backwards. Available light and subject matter become site specific “stories” for viewers to consider and re-consider. All sights and sounds seen are ephemeral. No recording devices are used.

The piece addresses the artist’s interest in how photography is influenced by culture and personality, and how, over time, this has had broad impact on society. Behind every camera, behind every photograph, lies a photographer with a point of view, with attitudes and beliefs, of which viewers, and the photographer themselves, may be unaware. As an extension of the human eye the camera discriminates, picturing some things and excluding others. The camera is both taker and maker of images, simultaneously capturing what we see and what we want to see. For contemporary photographers consciously constructing images, this opens up a world of possibility.



Mitch Kern is a transmedia artist who tells stories with optical devices. Evolving over three decades his work spans several genres including photojournalism, documentary, video and sculptural work where he combines 3d materials with 2d images. Born in New York City in 1965, he moved to Los Angeles in 1977, has also lived in New Mexico, Texas, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Missouri and Louisiana, and moved to Calgary in 2006. He has an MFA from Penn State University, a BA from the University of Maryland and has exhibited his work in the US, Canada, Spain, Hungary and India.