News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Akron Children's Hospital

Don Drumm Studios

Northeast Ohio Medical University


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Arts and Entertainment


A mystery story from a Kent neighborhood
"Excerpts from Silver Meadows," a photography exhibition from Kent native Todd Hido launches at the Transformer Station
by WKSU's MARK URYCKI


Senior Reporter
Mark Urycki
 
This seemingly old photograph was taken recently by Hido using a model.
Courtesy of Todd Hido
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

A new exhibition at a new museum in Northeast Ohio appears to be a collection of old photographs of a local neighborhood.

But things aren’t what they seem.

Ohio native Todd Hido has assembled a story in photographs at the Transformer Station, the new gallery in the Ohio City neighborhood on Cleveland’s west side. The show is called “Excerpts from Silver Meadows,” named after the housing development in Kent where Hido grew up.  

It’s the first solo show at the Transformer Station, and it was commissioned before the museum was opened.

AUDIO INTERVIEWS

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (5:51)


California-based Todd Hido may have grown up in Silver Meadows, but this exhibition isn’t quite that place.

"It’s not really about Silver Meadows. That’s just a jumping off point. It’s like with any kind of fictitious piece of history or story, parts of it are true and there are definitely parts of it that are completely fabricated.”

The gallery owners, Fred and Laura Bidwell, weren’t interested in the show because it references an Ohio neighborhood; they just liked Hido’s work. And the photographer appreciated their confidence in him to create the exhibition.

“Just having -- not only funding – but just the emotional backing, or the belief that 'Hey, this guy’s gonna make something great,’ it just makes you want to get it done. And all artists need a deadline. A lot of art gets done that way -- or finished that way.”

Night photos, a noir look
Hido came up with photographs that appear to be scenes from a movie or a pulp fiction novel. There are works that remind you of Weegee, Cindy Sherman and Akron's Penny Rakoff. A few are found photos -- like his own yearbook picture, one of a car accident and a college photo of his father in his football uniform. Many are eerie photos of homes, photos he takes at night. 

“Part of it is the quality of mystery I’m interested in. And then there's also the part that it’s time I can think and focus. My phone is not ringing and I can go out and take pictures."

Do people call the police on him?

“It’s happened before.”

But Hido doesn’t shoot through windows. You don’t see who lives in the houses and that lends to the mystery. He often photographs houses through a car windshield, through rain drops or melting snow, an effect that blurs the scene.

“It immediately conjures up memory. It’s not a picture of the place it’s a memory of the place.”

A view from outside
It also gives the photos a voyeuristic feel. As gallery owner Fred Bidwell says, “This is a drive-by.This is not someone who lives here.” Bidwell also notes that the photographs should be viewed in order, not just randomly.

Many of the works look like they were taken in the 1950’s or as he says “a prehistory of someone else’s past.”

Hido will often photograph the same scene with three different cameras to find the right look. Sometimes, he even uses the cheap little Kodak Instamatic camera that the photo website Instagram tries to imitate.

“It’s kind of like flipping the bird to Instagram. This is no filter; this is the real thing."

Transformer Station
1460 W. 29th St.
Cleveland, OH 44113
216-938-5429

Admission: Free

Visiting Hours
Wednesdays: Noon to 5pm
Thursdays: Noon to 9pm
Fridays: Noon to 5pm
Saturdays: Noon to 5pm

Special July Concert Hours:
Wednesdays in July: Noon to 9 p.m.
Thursdays in July: Noon to 5 p.m.

Todd Hido says he uses no computer editing tricks on his pictures, and he won’t ask a homeowner to turn lights on or off. He’s simply capture what he sees.  But many of the photos are staged using models, young women barely dressed in lingerie.  It’s all part of a mysterious story that the viewer has to fill in.

Images with audio

This seemingly old photograph was taken recently by Hido using a model.


This seemingly old photograph was taken recently by Hido using a model.

Hido and Bidwell say the images are meant to evoke memories and create a story in viewers' minds.


Hido and Bidwell say the images are meant to evoke memories and create a story in viewers' minds.

Gallery co-owner Fred Bidwell suggests seeing the exhibition in the intended order.


Gallery co-owner Fred Bidwell suggests seeing the exhibition in the intended order.

(Click image for larger view.)

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Bridgestone exec indictments are latest step in a billion-dollar price-fixing case
Why is O.P.E.C Not investigated and charges brought against it and it's member companies? It sounds exactly the same...

Ohio's new drilling rules rely on known earthquake faults
requiring drillers to place seismic monitors when they drill within 3 miles of known fault lines. This comment really upsets me!! What good does an instrument t...

Kasich's gubernatorial ad focuses on his blue-collar roots
John Kasich is the biggest con-man in America. He will say one thing and then do the opposite. He is terribly successful at fooling the public and he is worki...

Cab drivers who refuse to drive Gay Games taxis will be replaced
the irony is that most americans distrust or hate muslims much more than they hate gays!! silly ignorant bigots-GO HOME!!!

New transportation companies come to Cleveland
Ride-sharing companies are breaking laws and regulations every day. From regulatory fee evasion to use of smartphone while driving (and even two smartphones(!) ...

Cleveland anti-poverty agency executive resigns amid financial probe
That committee won't be too independent. He plans to stay on until after the new appointee is chosen.

How can you wipe a criminal record clean?
Great article! NO CLINIC in May 2014, however, because it's graduation month for students For the next dates of the FREE Legal Clinic to help with Expungment,...

Drilling remains suspended while ODNR investigates NE Ohio earthquakes
Flaring and lights, so has all been halted? Also, smell of HS2 and sounds of an auger/drilling/water rushing underground. So, has all been halted? In light of t...

Will the Ohio River carry fracking wastewater?
Texas $ vs. WV citizens . Who will our governor listen to?

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University