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Who is the Man in the Bowler Hat?

Bowler Hat Man

Viewing Michelle Rogers’ exhibit, “Le Temps Retrouvé / Revisiting the Past,” is a curious experience.

Modern photographs — silver gelatin prints — are camouflaged as antiques, combined with vintage postcard images, creating affinities between different places and times. And as you negotiate these imagined stories, you have a companion along for the ride: an enigmatic traveler in a bowler hat.

All photographs by Michelle Rogers
All photographs by Michelle Rogers

There’s not much we can say for sure about the figure, who reoccurs in many of the 20 pieces on the walls. He — or she — wears a bowler hat, sometimes uses a walking stick, never faces the camera. One thing that’s for certain: he’s well traveled.

Bowler Hat Man
Triptychs: Cactus. The Flower of the Desert (left), Brighton, Rough Sea & Palace Pier (center), and ‘Fastnet Rock’ Lighthouse, Co. Cork. The pieces take their names from the title printed on the postcard in the center. (click for full size)

Come take a look at the triptychs, flip through the artist’s scrapbook, and find the black-hatted stranger. He’s only one part of the mystery around these photographs; one you can content yourself to puzzle over for a while.

Or, you could ask the artist yourself and see if she’ll give you an answer. The opening reception for this exhibit, and “Small and Large Works,” is tonight.

“Le Temps Retrouvé / Revisiting the Past”
November 6–December 1, 2014
Opening Reception: Thursday, November 13, 6:30-8:00 pm

Three hats accompanying the exhibit.
Three hats accompanying the exhibit.
From the artist's scrapbook.
From the artist’s scrapbook.

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