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Dream Machine

Harlan Crichton, Jen Mawson, Zhidong Zhang

Nov 5, 2021 – Dec 18, 2021

Dream Machine brings together three artists who found each other through the medium of photography as they completed an MFA at MassArt during the height of the pandemic. This exhibition celebrates the tug-of-war between each artist and the medium of light, while exploring their collaborations, the seduction of mechanical vision, and the failures of an intricate art form.

A photograph is a dance with light.

A photograph is the little things.

A photograph is tangible yet untraceable.

A photograph reflects.

A photograph shows what was.

A photograph is right next to you.

A photograph shows what is.

A photograph elicits desire.

A photograph judges.

A photograph contradicts itself.

A photograph is easy.

A photograph is difficult.

A photograph listens but doesn’t act.

A photograph liberates.

A photograph lies.

A photograph moves.

A photograph is annoying.

A photograph is exciting.

A photograph makes you cry.

A photograph is repetitive.

A photograph goes on and on and on and on…

Harlan Crichton was born in Maine in 1990. He was raised in a community of artists in the rural town of Liberty. After graduating from Maine College of Art in 2012, Crichton traveled 13,000 miles through rural America via motorcycle photographing strangers and their towns. Crichton received a Master of Fine Arts degree at Massachusetts College of Art and Design in photography in 2020.  He now lives in Westbrook, Maine. His work focuses on experimentation,  personal narrative, local legends, cycles in time and the extremes of the human experience.

Jen Mawson ( b. 1994 Bamberg, Germany) is a photographer based out of Boston, Massachusetts. She received her MFA in Photography from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and a BA from the University of Missouri in Interdisciplinary Studies, with an emphasis in Photography, Religious Studies and English. She surveys the endotic in order to further question our “truths” and foundations, looking for a deeper understanding of, not an answer to, the world around her.

Zhidong Zhang (b. Hunan, China) is a Chinese photographer currently based in Boston. He holds an MFA in photography from Massachusetts College of Art and Design and a B.Sc in Applied Mathematics from Central South University. Informed by his upbringing from a conservative Chinese family as a queer person, Zhidong’s work explores the intersection of representation, identity construction, and the role of imagery in contemporary culture.

Are you a Maine artist looking to fund a project? Apply to our American Rescue Plan Project grant program today. Deadline: June 26th at 11:59 PM.