Austin Irving photographs spaces with no exit

Austin Irving photographs spaces with no exit

The nine color photographs in Austin Irving's absorbing show at Wilding Cran read as existential propositions as much as visual documents. Each is shot looking through a doorway or into a hallway, but none of the spaces promise passage. They all recede into what seem like dead ends, suffocating cul-de-sacs of glaring banality. One site photographed in Eagle Rock (all are titled by location and some by function as well) shows a door absurdly set in a wedge-tight corner. Kafka must have served as architectural consultant; the situation reeks of futility. A Texaco rest stop in Ehrenberg, Az., could pass as an interrogation facility or perhaps an abattoir. Its gray-tiled walls seem...