“Vacation” is the theme of the recent photographic exhibition from Dr. Claire D. Dipika, M.D., on view now in the Midtown Medical Consultants building, Suite 536B. Dipika says the genesis of the project was a lifelong interest in photography.
“Before the Canon Rebel, I had a clunky old Polaroid from high school,” says Dipika, who purchased her 2003 prosumer-grade digital SLR from the son of a friend. “It was in a box, buried under my ice skates. Sometimes I think that garage is more trouble than it’s worth.”
The photos are being heralded as a welcome change after a fifteen-year giclée print installation, which included a vintage hot air balloon and an irate baby with a bowl of spaghetti on his head. The new direction is decidedly less whimsical and conjures instead a feeling of immediate comfort, a home away from home. Indeed, two of the more heartwarming photos—Window and Sunbeam—were taken inside the Dipikas’ home away from home on the island of Corsica.
Looks Like Portugal is undoubtedly the central piece in the collection, in which the viewer sees a brightly painted door left slightly ajar, revealing a vestibule adorned with colorful and “ethnic-looking” ceramic tiles. The piece leaves the viewer to ponder: “Where was this taken? Looks like Portugal.”
Then Again, It Could Be Italy features similar themes, although the colorful door stays ominously closed this time, alienating the viewer while simultaneously piquing her curiosity. Whatever is hidden behind this door hints at something more that the Portuguese. Italians? Probably.
Oh, I’ve Been There. That’s Where They Make That Pricey Limoges Stuff! is clearly taken in the city of Limoges, France, but poses the intriguing question: “When did she visit?” The wide-angle portrait of a cathedral was taken in the clear daylight, about 90 minutes before what is commonly referred to as the “golden hour” and features a broad view of the parking lot.
“I love that weird little French van,” says a smiling Dipika, pointing to a powder blue Citroën. “Isn’t it funny? It’s so … ‘Mr. Bean’ … or something.”
The most politically charged piece in the collection, Macro of Fall Leaves with the Color Increased in PhotoShop hints at a post-racial America and hangs purposefully above the water cooler. To this, Dipika wonders aloud: “What if people, like leaves, actually changed color?” With this, Dipika asks us to examine our long-held sensibilities about race, leaves, and gynecology.
From Sedona to Spain, from Provincetown to Portugal, it seems that Dipika intends to remind us that more often than not, our memories are what we make of them. Perhaps family is a place outside the home as much as in the hearts of those whose souls are captured via the ephemeral melding of photography as seen “through the lens,” so to speak, as it were, gracefully, graciously emerging without fail into a world which promises to lull us into a state where the notions in the mind of our minds eye are transported and even transformed while “clicking” through the matrix where all humanity intersects—the visibility of remembrance? Thanks to Dr. Dipika, it seems vacation is alive and well in Midtown.