Antiqued prints of medical x-rays. A photogram of a stone recalling a ghostly human face. A discarded snakeskin, delicate and brittle, rendered in a digital print of a photogram.

Artist Jo Sandman, now 89, has spent a good part of her long career exploring themes of mortality, impermanence and transition. Her work points to the fragility of life and the bitter realization that we’re here for only one fleeting moment until, suddenly, we’re not.

That’s what makes Sandman’s work, on view at the Fitchburg Art Museum beginning July 22, poignantly appropriate for this pandemic moment. As we collectively face the

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A naked and terrified Vietnamese girl runs out of a cloud of napalm. A suited man falls head-first from the collapsing World Trade Center. A hooded figure hangs lifelessly in an Abu Ghraib prison cell.

Photographs have a way of sticking with us long after we first see them. Images linger in a much more visceral way than words do.

Images saturate the contemporary world in a way that was never imagined back when photography involved heavy cameras on tripods and unsmiling subjects standing immobile for minutes on end.

Once trusted to capture reality and truth, photographs now stir debate

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