MINNEAPOLIS – Saturday, May 10, 2014, 7:00-11:00 p.m. is the opening reception for “If These Walls Could Talk;” the exhibit runs through May 31. Danger, hands-on history, extreme sportsmanship, discovery, an artistic process; Urban Exploring combines these elements into one subversive passion. However, when you ask photographer Cameren Torgerud why he continues to explore early and mid-century American ruins, he alludes to reasons that can’t be pinned down. He has captured some of the rarest images a local digital photographer has unveiled, including subjects since demolished. Still, neither documentation or his resulting art define his expeditions; he counters: “sometimes I don’t even bring my camera.” At Gamut Gallery, Torgerud takes a departure from recent light painting exhibitions, to debut these photographs of abandoned structures. The series chronicles five years of voyages into forgotten spaces locally and in tumbled-down parts of towns across the country.
Torgerud’s photographs allow the eyes to move around these spaces as if actually there, illuminating more than the focal point to explore. His use of High Dynamic Range (HDR) imaging goes beyond a basic enhancement. He applies the technique to retain essential details that would otherwise be lost to the constraints of each abandoned building’s natural light. ”Forgotten Theater” takes the viewer inside an abandoned school, draped in construction materials so aged that they are incrementally peeling from the ceiling and walls. There is a peaceful, cathedral-like effect in the still decipherable assembly hall stage, lit by bars of trespassing sunlight. Despite the meditative hold of the series, a trace of violence co-exists in the slow-motion disintegration of these abandoned stomping grounds.
Cameren Torgerud aka “Light The Underground” was raised in a family of photographers. He studies photography and digital imaging at the Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) and works as a freelance photographer. He has shown artwork consistently over the last three years at local galleries and other establishments, and has been published in several periodicals. His started making a name for himself experimenting with long-exposure light painting on urban exploring trips into buildings, sewers and caves. Torgerud’s freelance business has evolved to include portrait photography, with experience in weddings, engagements and graduation photos. He plans trips around urban exploring frequently, and has treasures like abandoned jailhouse keys to show for it.