Matthew Pillsbury Bonni Benrubi Gallery
52 East 76th Street
Through July 16
Matthew Pillsbury, a '95 Yale grad fresh out of the M.F.A. program at the School of Visual Arts, was inspired by Hiroshi Sugimoto's rigorously formal, time-lapse images of radiant movie theater screens to photograph interiors lit by the smaller screens we all live with and through: the TV and the computer. These brilliant rectangles glow like little ovens in the darkened bedrooms, living rooms, studios, and offices of various family and friends, illuminating spaces populated only by ghosts. If phantoms are all that remain of the people in these pictures, it's not because their souls have been sucked into the cybernetic ether, but because over the course of the hour or so that they've been surfing the Net or watching CSI: Miami or Access Hollywood or CNN, Pillsbury's camera has recorded their movements as firefly flickerings among the furniture. As a result, one couple in bed watching The Tonight Show, martini glasses close at hand, look as contorted and ectoplasmic as Francis Bacon's wrestlers. The photographer himself, seated at his desk, is little more than a disembodied head floating above his keyboard. In these subtly disquieting, modern spirit photos, the body is far less substantial than the room it hovers in, and technology provides the only reliable source of light and life.