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Special Exhibit “Yama” at Rivet on Friday

 Belinda Heiman
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A 3-D Stereo Camera through the eyes of a 500-year-old Tibetan monk skull called “Yama,” will be open for viewing by the public at The Darkness into Light exhibition at 7p.m. this Friday, February 6th at the Rivet Gallery on North High Street. Yama, literally meaning, “Tibetan god of death,” was designed by Wayne Martin Belger for the study of exodus and for the research of modern incarnations of historical iconic figures.
Yama, the Tibetan god of death is known in Tibetan Buddhism to meet a person in the second house after he/she dies. It said that Yama sees all of a person’s life, dropping a white stone for good deeds and a black stone for bad. The action is representative of a life’s tally or karma, keeping balance and determining where the person under judgment will be reborn.

The skull used in Belger’s 3-D creation has been blessed by a Tibetan Lama for its present journey. Belger’s photo series will be of his journey through the eyes of this 500 year old skull into the Tibetan refugee cities of the Dali Lama in Northern India.

Belger obtained the skull from a source out of the country, a collector in Beijing, making him a legal third party owner. It would be illegal to traffic human remains in the US.

Belger uses , “Aluminium, Titanium, Copper, Stainless Steel, Steel, Brass, Bronze, Mercury, Silver, 999.9% pure Gold, 4 Sapphires, 3 Rubies, 9 Opals, Asian and North American turquoise, Pearls, Blood and a 500 year old human skull from Tibet,” to create Yama.

How the camera works according to a description by Belger:

Yama’s eyes are cast from bronze and silver with a gold pinhole pupil in each. A divider runs down the middle of the skull creating two separate cameras for one sheet of film. Each photo is offset by the distance between the pupils. This distance between our own pupils is what gives us depth perception. 4″x5″ film is loaded into the side of the camera by a pneumatic film loading system.

A 300psi air tank in the middle of the camera powers 2 pneumatic pistons that move the film holder forward and lock it into place. The switch to open and close the film chamber is located under the jaw. The film is then exposed by pulling the dark slide on the film holder. After the film is developed, a finished contact print is then mounted on to a copper plate. When the copper plate is inserted in to the side slot of the skull, two lights turn on inside and the photo can be viewed in 3-D.

“It’s good to bring something like this to the city and I hope this exhibit will help expose people to a style of photography that they are not accustomed to seeing,” said Laura Kuenzli, 34, owner of Rivet.

The exhibition opening will be a private reception “meet-and-greet” with Photographer, Chas Ray Krider, a Columbus local artist who is among 6 other artists also be taking part in the exhibition, focusing on an underground style of alternative nature photography pertaining to fetish, lowbrow and pin- up. Krider has published two books focusing on fetish and pin-up photography. He also has a local studio in Columbus where he does most of his work; it is conveniently located on King Avenue.

Attendees will be given the first view of the exhibition as well as food and drinks provided by neighboring venues, Barrel 44 and Bodega. It’s a ticketed event costing 20 dollars for entry.

Yama has only been shown one other time at the Device Gallery in La Jolla California. Fitting with its name, the gallery shows devices and object art contraptions similar to Belgers.

“The benefits of this exhibit outweigh the preparations made for it.” “It broadens viewer’s horizons and is a definite esthetic grabber,” said Kuenzli.

The final reception of the exhibition will take place Feb 28th from 7pm to 10pm and is open to the public. Both Krider and Belger will be present taking part in a meet-and-greet. Belger is bringing film for those in attendance to do keepsake photography and he will also have a few more of his cameras on display that evening. The cost for that evening is 40 dollars and food and drinks will be compliments of the Surly Girl Saloon and Bodega.

Rivet Gallery is located at 1200 North High Street. More information online at RivetArt.com. Yama will be on public display the 7th, 14th, 21st, & 28th (see Rivet’s website for the exact times.)

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