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Opening Reception Peter Cochrane Exhibition
January 19 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Photographer Peter Cochrane, returns to his hometown of La Jolla, to present his exhibition “The Magician Longs to See,” an alchemical tale about the natural world and humanity, using stories of life, death, and the human desire to preserve. Cochrane draws inspiration from indigenous plants in California and from the Athenaeum Music & Art Library’s own botanical archives. Darkroom prints and abstractions of roses, pine cones, and other local plantings recreate traces of life that once lived in and around the library, including the Torrey pine that stood as a sentinel for the building’s entrance, and climbing roses proposed by Kate Sessions for a 1921 garden renovation. Cochrane’s interest in horticultural and photographic histories also considers the optical manifestation of the alchemical pursuit—the transformation of lead into gold—through which, working with analog photographic processes, metals, and translations, the artist explores the materiality of elements across humanity’s attempts at preservation. The exhibition will be on view through April 13, 2024.