The premise is simple: Margot Quan Knight made a portrait of her childhood home by taking photographs of the photographs that hang in it. Each photograph, framed and mounted behind glass, throws back a view of the room it's in—or what's out the window across from it. Anything illuminated becomes wrapped up in the shot. It becomes hard to differentiate the photograph from the overlay of the environment it's reflecting. The show is called Underphotos.

Two landscape photographs by the artist Joel Sternfeld, collected by Knight's parents and hung on the walls of what looks like the dining room, are seen/obscured in a multiplicity of views. In Joel 1978, Mist, the glass over the Sternfeld photograph reflects and takes up the image of two chairs at a table, a windowsill, and a naked dogwood tree on a misty winter day outside. Sternfeld's landscape also is misty, so the mist in his 1978 photograph and the mist of Knight's 2010 photograph hover together, across time. The image is a Russian doll of representation, and the viewer's presence adds another layer: Knight has framed her images behind highly reflective glass, so you can't escape becoming part of what you're looking at. You're not just a tourist in her home, you're almost a guest who might knock something over—or see something you shouldn't, something a tiny bit too personal.

Support The Stranger

Not all the photographs in the house are fine artworks in common rooms, meant to be viewed by people outside the family, or contemplated as art. Knight has no interest in ranking photographs, only exploring the effects they have on us and the ways we use and need them. In a bedroom, she stages a democratic zigzag of reflections between art photographs, family pictures, and snapshots in novelty frames, all lit by the golden glow of a dim wall lamp, which itself is reflected twice, forming a palindrome of light in the center of the image.

In Knight's 2008 solo debut at James Harris, her experiments in photography, mirroring, reflection, and time felt both more academic (neat-o!, said your brain) and more sentimental (featuring old ladies and babies in states of going and coming). But this new series wants the same thing: to make a photograph that is unfinished. What's unfinished can't ever quite die. recommended