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Christopher Blay's "Machine Time" installation

It?s not often that you see three important exhibits in the same night, let alone in the same gallery space.

But The MAC (McKinney Avenue Contemporary) opened three stellar shows last Saturday.

Christopher Blay has earned a reputation for his creativity and tenacious attention to detail; his latest work, ?Machine Time,? is certainly no departure.

The artist constructed a 32-square-foot space that he calls a time machine. Selected ?time travelers? sit inside a control room and watch images related to places they want to visit (operated by Blay and his uniformed assistants).

Blay?s concept takes root in photography, he says, and the installation is a metaphor for a camera: The shutter speed controls time, and the lens is distance or space.

The other shows are just as engaging. In ?The 99 Names of God,? Sandow Birk and Elyse Pignolet depict the five airports and departure gates involved in the attacks on September 11, 2001, in elaborate calligraphic illustrations.

And in ?Re: apologies to the many wonderful Iranians,? Morehshin Allahyari reconciles personal memories of the Iran-Iraq War (1980 to 1988) with the current political landscape to evocative effect, ultimately making each of these shows remarkably resonant.

The exhibits run through December 8 at The McKinney Avenue Contemporary (MAC), 3120 McKinney Ave.; 214-953-1212 or

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