Melissa Catanese: The Lottery

March 21 - July 22, 2022

Light Work presents The Lottery, a solo exhibition of new works by photographer and University of Pittsburgh Studio Arts Lecturer Melissa Catanese.  

Catanese turns her attention to the tense and confusing state of contemporary politics and culture. Her images bring together large groups of people, barren caverns, natural forces, physical exertion, and eruptions both crude and colorful. The accumulated manic puzzle shifts the viewer from crowded street to darkened cavern. Catanese borrows the title from literature. In Shirley Jackson’s famous short story, a village casually embarks on a yearly ritual of selecting an individual and then stoning them to death. Catanese’s The Lottery teases out similar themes regarding ritual, culture, and the diffused accountability of a mob.

Melissa Catanese’s work blends anonymous photographs, press clips, and images from NASA’s archive with her own. Single images resemble sentence fragments that Catanese completes with her sequences. Sometimes seamlessly blending in, Catanese’s own images also act as punctuation throughout the work. This creates a sensation of call and response between the archival material and Catanese’s own images that brings to mind the Chauvet Cave in southeastern France. 

More information can be found by visiting Light Work's website.

Location Information

Kathleen O. Ellis Gallery
Light Work
316 Waverly Avenue Syracuse, NY 13244