Toni Pepe

Angle of Repose

November 8, 2008 – January 11, 2009

It’s my dream. A world where all would be silent and each thing in its last place, under the last dust.
-Samuel Beckett, Endgame

Absence and presence is a recurring theme within this series, implying that each image works to reference something beyond the frame. Photography best portrays this thematic approach since by nature; photographs possess a fundamental quality of absence. All of the elements within the frame—the props, costumes and gestures prompt the notion and tangibility of loss and memory. If we had never met could I still have a memory of you? Can we make present something that is absent?

A variety of performative devices from theater, cinema, and literature reconstruct visions and moments experienced within the walls of the character’s mind. References to memory are embedded in her gestures and body language. Though the poses are appropriated from family photographs, at the same time they evoke the classical and art historical. Recurring motifs such as dust suggest the past, calling to mind the idea of remains and decay. In addition, the embroidered napkins emphasize the notion of memory, domesticity and the familial. The lines of text along with the truncated narrative approach underscore the ambiguity of memory and the inability to organize it linearly.

– Toni Pepe, 2008

Toni Pepe recently completed an MFA in Imaging Arts from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2007. She received a BA from Michigan State University in 2003. “Angle of Repose” was recently exhibited at the Bernard Toale Gallery in Boston, MA in spring 2008. A solo exhibition of her series “Reasonably Poised” was shown at IMG Gallery in Winthrop, Ma in 2006. Toni Pepe’s work has also been included in exhibitions at such venues as the Danforth Museum in Framingham, MA; the Griffen Museum in Winchester, MA; Nook in Rochester, NY; Gallery Aferrro in Newark, NJ; Real Art Ways Gallery in Hartford, CT; and mulitple shows at RIT’s SPAS Gallery in Rochester, NY. Pepe currently lives and works in Winthrop, MA.