Maria Porges reviews Judith Belzer: Canal Zone: Recent Work from the Panama Project at George Lawson Gallery, San Francisco, on view through April 9, 2016.
Porges writes: "[Belzer's] intention, it seems, is not to disturb the viewer, but to simply observe, interpret, and record. She describes her experience of studying the canal as being akin to 'looking through an adjustable telescoping lens, seeing things that were both profoundly disturbing and exquisitely beautiful at different scales.' In the end, though, that which is disturbing has been muffled by the beautiful. Whether this is a side effect of its passage through the artist’s ‘lens’ or simply because her desire is to show and not tell, the effect is the same. As we find our way through these hybrid landscapes, we have to make our own decisions about places like this, and what they mean both in the present and in a future in which there will be so many more of them, as we continue to push ever further into transforming the world to our liking."