The Life of Small Things
Adam Ekberg
March 2020
Aurora PhotoCenter at Tube Factory (
directions)

In his photographic interventions, Adam Ekberg presents moments both mysterious and delightful. His constructions, made entirely in camera without the aid of Photoshop and rendered in lavish color, are not easily decoded or resolved. A disco ball turning in the woods is simultaneously fantastic and lonely; as the beam of a flashlight bounces between mirrors in a small hallway, the scene radiates a warming light that will only ever live within the confines of the photographic frame. The images in The Life of Small Things confound expectations about what we perceive as the inevitability of the commonplace. Made over the course of the past decade, the series began as a response to Ekberg’s time as a hospice aide. Since then, his interventions have embraced a wide range of quiet surprises, some that will make you think and laugh at loud at the same time. Ekberg hints at the poignant beauty that can take shape, although fleetingly, when the spark of possibility hits the mundane.

Adam Ekberg received his MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He has recently had solo exhibitions at ClampArt, New York; DeSoto Gallery, Los Angeles; Thomas Robertello Gallery, Chicago; Platform Gallery, Seattle; and Fotografiska, Stockholm, Sweden. His work has been included in recent group exhibitions at venues such as Aran Cravey Gallery, Los Angles CA; DePaul Art Museum, Chicago; RayKo Photo Center, San Francisco; and Crawford Art Gallery, Cork Ireland. His work is in the collections of The Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, among others. He is the recipient of the Society for Photographic Education’s Imagemaker Award (2015). He was awarded a Tanne Foundation Award (2013). Ekberg has also received grants from Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs (2008, 2009, 2010) and the Union League Civic and Arts Foundation Grant (2005).