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neumu
Sunday, August 20, 2017 
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Neumu = Art + Music + Words
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Depth of Field
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Narrative
narrative. Mike Weis grew up in the northwest corner of Indiana and studied photography at that state's liberal arts oasis, Indiana University. He moved to Chicago, where the fertile music scene distracted him from his photography aspirations. In 1998 Weis and two of his friends formed the band Zelienople out of a mutual artistic frustration, and it's been a refreshing outlet since its conception (see review in Neumu's '44.1kHz'). Weis returned to photography in 2000 when he purchased a 1960s-era Rolleicord camera at an estate sale. He started his project 'Alleyville' and has continued with that series to date, expanding it to the subseries, 'In Your Backyard' and 'In My Backyard.' Weis has exhibited portions of these projects in galleries in Chicago, Buffalo and Indiana. He currently has a show at Darkroom Bar in Chicago that runs through February 2005.

Weis' work deals with the illumination of domestic space by means of subjective perception. Through the use of light, color and perspective he emphasizes an atmosphere of suspicion, hallucination and disquietude in places with which we commonly feel quite secure, familiar and intimate. Weis gravitates to scenes where the light has transformed the backyard landscape into a fictional place. In other words, he creeps around neighborhoods at night, armed with a camera and a tripod, seeking a quiet backyard in which to transform this typical domestic scene — via film — into something else.

Much of this project is as much about the actual taking of the picture as it is about the finished art object. His exposures last between three to six minutes, and he never knows the residents of the homes he photographs; the stress of being caught in the act of pointing a camera at a homeowner's house in the middle of the night probably adds to the uneasiness that is communicated in the photos.

Contact Mike Weis at www.zelienoplemusic.com.

(January 2005)
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