The Vitrine series (2006 - 2010) was shot in museums in New York and Boston, including Harvard’s Fogg Art Museum prior to its renovation by Renzo Piano. By folding and layering space, Dacey confuses the edges between the objects inside vitrines or on the wall, and the institutional context outside that frames them. In Allston’s Revenge, the oil painting hanging on the wall dissolves beneath the reflection of the Fogg courtyard superimposed on its vitreous surface. That the neoclassical pillars of the museum now seem to float on an inky, tossed sea further confounds the solidity of the architectural space, creating a composite image that fuses outside and in.


The elitist context of the Fogg Art Museum frames the meaning of these photographs too: for the very walls and columns that assert themselves on the picture plane of Allston’s Revenge allude to the boundaries of the museum’s physical architecture. Walls separate Harvard from the street outside, filtering access to its resources through mechanisms of entry that have not always been as egalitarian as they may now be. The question of who is outside, and who is inside haunts this doubled surface and roiling sea, patterned with windows and arcades that invite entrance, only to enfold it in darkness. 

-Leora Maltz-Leca

Curator, Redwood Contemporary Arts Initiative

Associate Professor, Contemporary Art

History of Art & Visual Culture, RISD

All Images and Projects are Copyrighted , Kevin Dacey, 2017