Love is a many-splendored thing, but only in photography can love attain the zenith of self-referential purity and perfection, albeit in a series of images that could never be tokens of real life. Through the magic of the computer, Kelli Connell shoots the same female model, in the twilight of youth, playing the roles of two friends/lovers; mixes up the images digitally; and composes them in seamless color scenarios depicting moments of intimacy and distance in the subjects’ relationship—the quintessence of narcissism. Connell favors quiet times and is partial to embraces and conversations that are never tempestuous or posed in the nude. Even when she allows some hostility into the frame, there is not a hint of violence. Were it not for the fact that the scenes show traces of having been staged, the viewer would be placed in the position of voyeur, a spy at the keyhole of intimacy, decidedly not of sex. (Michael Weinstein)
Through October 29 at Catherine Edelman Gallery, 300 West Superior.