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Arts & Culture

‘Wonder Worlds’ Gives Amusement Parks Surreal Life

Photo: Courtesy Photos, License: N/A

Courtesy Photos

Photo: , License: N/A


By processing the film herself (yes, it has become so unusual to encounter a photographer still using film and a darkroom that we must comment on it), Dietz is able to imbue her gelatin silver prints with even more subtle whimsy. Steel railings seem to glow and light bulb letters pop against inky backgrounds, clouds billow and ramshackle rides stretch out of frame. That kind of ordinary magic will be further enhanced by a carnival night Southwest School will host on September 17 to celebrate the exhibit complete with a fire performance (not by Dietz, but S.T. Shimi), tarot and palm readers, an astrologer, live music and costumed characters (another of Dietz’ San Francisco-era professions). The exhibit itself maintains a more contemplative feel, though

“I still have this sort of childhood wonder inside me from when I first saw these amusement parks, and these characters were very, very alive to me. The tall pirates that stand over the gates that you have to go through as a kid to get to the ride … Or the mermaid that’s painted on a building that seems to be smiling at you,” Dietz said, “and they’re a little bit scary because they’re a little bit real.”

Wonder Worlds

Southwest School of Art, Ursuline Hall gallery
9am-5pm, Mon-Fri (opening reception 5-8pm Thu, Sept 5)
300 Augusta
(210) 224-1848
swschool.org
Through Nov 8

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