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The Nina Freudenheim Gallery begins its new season with a provocative photographic exhibition that ranges from bold abstraction coaxed from the film process itself to various conceptual takes on the human body -- naked, clothed and, in one instance, invisible. "Art That Happens to Be Photography" begins with a reception from 6 to 8 o'clock Saturday night. Among the 13 artists is former Buffalonian Ellen Carey, who continues her investigation of abstract effects found in the Polaroid process. Marco Breuer employs even more extreme processes, sometimes going as far as to exhibit the random shapes produced by burning photographic paper. As for those artists who use the figure, John Coplans is well-known for his shots of his own nude body taken from unexpected vantage points. The body even appears hidden in the apparently abstract. Beth B's formally refined photographs soon enough reveal their actual subject: female genitalia. The aforementioned invisible bodies come courtesy of Kathy Grove. She photographs famous paintings of female nudes and modifies them with airbrush so that only the feminine accouterments remain. Merry Alpern, John Dugdale, Adam Fuss, Sally Mann, Harriet Casden Silver, Sugimoto, Kunie' Sugiura and James Wellings are the other artists. The show continues through Nov. 13 in the gallery, located in Hotel Lenox, 140 North St. (882-5777).
-- Richard Huntington

Political threads
Cecilia Vicuna is a kind of weaver in space. But she is no decorative weaver. The Chilean artist and poet uses threads and knots as others might use words, emphasizing the metaphoric possibilities of lines as they loop, intertwine and crisscross in an environment. Feminine references abound, and she sees her art as essentially political even as it is poetic. An exhibition of Vicuna's work called "cloud-net/illapa" will begin with a reception from 9 to 11 p.m. Saturday at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center. Vicuna will give a poetry performance at Hallwalls on Sunday afternoon at 2, in an event sponsored by Just Buffalo Literary Center.

Also opening Saturday will be "remnant/referent," a collaborative installation by artist Mary Lum of Hornell and architect Beth Tauke of Buffalo, artists-in-residence this month at Hallwalls. They will give a talk opening night at 9. Both exhibitions will continue through Nov. 7. Hallwalls is at 2495 Main St. (835-7362).
-- Richard Huntington

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