The recently reopened Jamaica Plain branch of the BPL has a beautiful new exhibit space devoted to a rotating crop of exceptional artists managed jointly by the JP Friends, the BPL and Uforge Gallery. The current display is by Cassandra Klos, a Boston-based photographer and conceptual artist, who was artist-in-residence at the Mars Desert Research Station, a space analog facility in Utah that supports Earth-based research in pursuit of the technology, operations, and science required for human space exploration.
With prototype space suits and diets consisting only of freeze-dried food, people from around the globe dedicate weeks, or months, of their lives simulating the Mars environment to further the study of leaving Earth behind. Klos’s photographs of the project blur the lines between reality and science-fiction, depicting red desert landscapes, lonely astronauts, space station gadgets, and starry skies.
A 2016 exhibit by Klos in the Griffin Museum in Winchester, MA, titled The Abductees, focused on Betty and Barney Hill, an interracial couple whose lives were forever altered after their controversial alien abduction in 1961 while driving through the White Mountains of New Hampshire at night.
Klos studied art and psychology at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. Her projects focus on manipulating the validity of photography and creating dual realities that breathe life into situations where visual manifestations may not be available. Along with several group and solo exhibitions, her work has been published in The Atlantic and The Boston Globe, and her photojournalism reporting has been published in TIME Magazine and Wired.
Cassandra Klos: Mars on Earth is on view from March 2 through April 30, 2018. The newly renovated Jamaica Plain library is open Monday-Wednesday 10-6, Thursday 12-8, and Friday-Saturday 9-5 (closed Sundays). The exhibition space is located on the lower level.