PR: Photography Now 2017

November 4, 2017 – January 14, 2018
Gallery Opening: Saturday, November 4, 5-7pm

The Center for Photography at Woodstock (CPW) is pleased to announce Photography Now 2017, juried by William Ewing, Director of Curatorial Projects at Thames & Hudson, London. Featured artists include Lars Anderson, Sarah Anthony, Ben Arnon, Sandra Jonas Bacchi, John Barnard, Adam Bernard, Emily Berl, Christopher Brown, Tianqiutao Chen, Jennifer Garza-Cuen, Orestes Gonzalez, Tamar Granovsky, Alejandro Loureiro Lorenzo, Jeanette May, Zora Murff, Laurie Peek, Ceaphas Stubbs and Ayumi Tanaka.

Each year, CPW invites a curator of national or international stature to apply their own curatorial vision in creating a survey exhibition of contemporary photography. This year’s installment of CPW’s Photography Now exhibition presents eighteen artists of a wide range of styles. Each artist explores different facets of the human condition, but collectively they seem to suggest a new direction in photography.

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Juror William Ewing describes the act of discovery while reviewing the many portfolios submitted by the call for entry. “It was a great pleasure to curate this project, resulting in a presentation of 18 photographers and 47 artworks of great variety, both in subject matter and approach. I admit I like to serve on juries, as a general principle, as it gives me an insight on what’s being produced now; curators tend to be focused on the past, even if it’s the recent past, and most museum curators are dealing with photographers whose careers span 20 to 50 years. Even the photographers we term ‘emerging’ often turn out to have had a decade of work under their belts. So in competitions like this one, attracting more than 400 candidates, allows for an almost ‘up to the minute’ overview of where photography is today, and where it’s headed in the near future.”

ABOUT THE JUROR
William Ewing is the Director of Curatorial Projects for Thames & Hudson, London. From 1977 to 1984 he was Director of Exhibitions at the International Center of Photography, New York, and from 1996 to 2010 Director of the Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne, while also teaching at the University of Geneva. He has served on many juries over the years, and shown at a number of international photography festivals, as well as co-curating the New York Photo Festival in 2009.  Since 2010 he has worked as a curator for the Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography, Minneapolis and Lausanne, and since 2015, for the Foundation Carène, Switzerland. He lives and works in Lausanne and London.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Lars Anderson’s series Access was developed in a process of observing industrial facilities, but being denied entry through physical barriers. The barrier itself became the subject matter. As he describes, “While the shrouding of these places erases some visual possibilities, it simultaneously creates interesting new ones, and enables optical performance that changes depending on where the viewer stands.”

Sarah Anthony projects focus on masculinity, coming of age, gender, romance and human relationships. The photographs emphasize the push and pull of their bodies and their mindsets as the boys struggle with shedding aspects of their youth and struggle to express their emotions.

Ben Arnon is no stranger to Willets Point in Queens, NY. Also known as the Iron Triangle, the area is a neglected industrial area without sewer system, running water, paved roads or sidewalks, yet it was also known for a thriving community that had sprung up around auto repair shops and scrap metal companies. Arnon’s photographs tell a story of an immigrant community’s fight against eminent domain that goes beyond metal scraps of neglected urban space.

Sandra Bacchi examines the separation of private and public sphere of daily life, as well as the paradox between personal and social expectations. Observing the private moments of individuals in the shared public space of the subway led her to appreciate how challenging and complex it can be for members of a diverse population to marry their private and public persona.

John Barnard creates a narrative about the tension that exists between nature, consumerism and materialism. He points to the failure in our culture, as he explains “when we start to satisfy the need for love by buying a new car we are turning our inner emptiness into consumerism and this is where it becomes a social disease.”

After moving to Los Angeles, Emily Berl discovered the face of Marilyn Monroe everywhere: T-shirts, murals, magazines. Her image was so ubiquitous that it blended into everyday life. While photographing, she began to think of Marilyn’s story as a symbol for a place where people seek fame. Berl points out that Marilyn Monroe “is the ultimate symbol of Hollywood, but also a reminder of the downfall that the pursuit of fame can lead to.”

In his series Entities, Adam Bernard sets out to establish that “all entities are created with an intended purpose for their existence regardless of their creator.  The intent of my photography is to show the physical appearance of these entities by bringing together time, space, light, color and surface in order to create images that exhibit their appearance “as is” in our current era.

Christopher Paul Brown is interested in the mundane surface of things “as fodder, as a means or lever, for revealing the deeper, inner energy of that which holds my emotional interest. […] With digital photography I shoot promiscuously and playfully, but with a constancy of intent and openness. […] Post-production is much the same, with play, serendipity, surprise, intent and openness dominating the process.”

Tianqiutao Chen‘s recent project observes migrant workers and their children, who are a highly marginalized and mobile group in Beijing. Chen describes the process of creating diptychs of his portraits with photographs the children take as “an action of transferring the discourse power and subverting the traditional subject-object relationship.”

Jennifer Garza-Cuen describes her project, Wandering In Place, as a series of locations in the United States that touch on her residual, cultural memory. To be interpreted as a metaphorical memoir or a narrative re-telling of facts and fictions, it is also her discovery of the dreamland that still is America.

Midtown NYC’s Fifth Avenue and its environs around Times Square have always served as a barometer of the city’s traditions and moods. It is the country’s town square, a place to show American individuality and freedom of expression. Orestes Gonzalez has been taking pictures there for many years, finding it rich in the opportunities that reinforce its role in American pageantry and tradition.

Tamar Granovsky‘s body of work, Siren Song, is centered on the desert landscape of California’s Salton Sea. Repeated attempts to channel waterways, develop agriculture and create resorts beside this accidental “sea” have left scars on the surrounding communities. In photographing traces of the everyday in the vicinity of this toxic, abandoned lake, Granovsky draws a connection between history and this place where decay and survival coexist.

Alejandro Loureiro Lorenzo‘s series of work begins with spontaneous hand-made graphite drawings and photographs documenting discarded materials and overlapping residual architectural and landscape elements. His subsequent imagery avoids any medium distinction and homogenize the source material, overall “giving us powerful critical tools to analyze current concerns on art production and the reception of it.”

Jeanette May‘s “Tech Vanitas” photographs confront the anxiety surrounding technological obsolescence. “The more we yearn to keep current—the newest phone, computer, camera, audio system, espresso maker—the more we produce, consume and discard. Cutting-edge technology becomes outdated, embarrassing, quaint, collectible and finally, antiquated or forgotten.”

Combining his education in human services and art, Zora J Murff‘s photography focuses on the experiences of youth in the juvenile justice system and the role of images in the correctional system; specifically how images are used to define individuals who are deemed criminals and what happens when these definitions are abandoned or skewed.

Laurie Peek started her series Car Parts in 2012. Attracted to the light and abstract pattern in a reflection on a parked car door, she began noticing these “paintings” on cars everywhere and set out to collect them. “Looking for the extraordinary in the ordinary, the metal hoods, roofs, bumpers and doors are canvases for my photographic ‘paintings.’”

Ceaphas Stubbs‘ photographs are an exploration in narrative weight and meaning, as well as black sexuality and pleasure. His works function in a space at the intersection of photography, sculpture and painting, where the images move back and forth between different meanings.

As Ayumi Tanaka describes, his aim with his photographs is to reconstruct half-remembered memories of his childhood. Three-dimensional dioramas, composed of overlapping multiple layers of photo collages, have been assembled and photographed to illustrate landscapes of memory.


EXHIBITION SCHEDULE AND LOCATIONS
Photography Now 2017 will be on view from Saturday, November 4, 2017, through Sunday, January 14, 2018. CPW galleries are free & open to the public Wednesday – Sunday, 12pm – 5pm and by appointment. Please note that special hours apply during the holidays. CPW is located at 59 Tinker Street, Woodstock, New York 12498.

Banner image: Sandra Jonas Bacchi, Untitled, 2016, archival pigment print, 7×20”

See full exhibition information