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PASSENGER

PASSENGER

a video exhibition curated by John Mannion

November 3 – December 16, 2001

This video exhibition, on continuos play, is featured in conjunction with We Are Named, a visual arts exhibition curated by Susan Evans and is accompanied by a special issue of the Canter’s magazine, PHOTOGRAPHY Quarterly, with articles by Evans, Mannion, and Gary Hesse (Jamesville, NY).

The videos in PASSENGER look to the identification of family and gender as markers of who we are and how we view our own personal identity. The inner perception of self is a result of our personal states and thoughts during our lifetime, Plainly said, when we define ourselves we must decide who we are and where we belong. In many ways, we are defined by our histories; the content of our past haunts the decisions we make now.

The ghosts of ourselves make us wonder what might have occurred had history taken a different course. What if the answers weren’t the same? The understanding of who we are forces us to define the relationships we have made to our immediate environment. What’s more is that we are carried along by our own inertia; how the self has already been defined. We are who we say we are. This sets up an interesting binary, we are defining our  self while our self is defined by where we are and have been. We become passengers of our own self-identification.

The first tape in the series is Los Animales made by Argentinean artist Ivan Marino and Arturo Marinho. The tape looks at a place called Chino, located in Buenos Aires. It is an area famous for tango and nightlife. My interest in the piece is the way that the main characters, two men sitting in the street, are partially defining this part of town as it defines them. These men are who they are by choice and tell us of their life through the drinks they have on the street.

They speak of women that both define them and drive them to live. “I was born from a woman, I live for a woman, and I will die for a woman.” An inevitable tragedy it seems. A man who appears to run a local establishment sings about a woman who loves him but whom he does not love himself. “I am sorry that I do not love you anymore.” This prophecy of endless conflict between man and woman is a large part of their dialogue. It is part of the sexual tension that is so much a part of the tango, so much a part of this space.

The next tape in the series is entitled Le Memoria de los Caracoles (The Memory of the Snails) made by Chilean artist Edgar Endress. This autobiographical video diptych looks at two seemingly innocent events that come to have a larger distinction upon the narrator in the tape. The work remarks on the subtle and sometimes unnoticed way that an oppressive government, in this case that of General Pinnochet, can touch your life without you even knowing.

In both of these stories Endress is unintentionally participating in the wrong doings of this totalitarian dictator. In the first tape Endress gives us a simple story, essentially that he participated in waving to and venerating Pinnochet’s motorcade traveling with full military parade. While his father was the only one present to protest. In the second tape another simple text places Edgar on the wrong side of good unwittingly. He gives guards the oranges that will be used to beat and torture people who are wrongfully imprisoned. Even though he did not have an idea of what the symbolism of his acts where at the time, there is regret found within the tone of the tape.

The ghost of these events charges the tape with frenetic energy. Le Memoria de los Caracoles points us back to the circumstance, but the mood that Endress relays tells us of his opinion. Even though these were out of Endress’ control they turn into ghosts. They seem to motivate the tape. In both of these tapes the father is present and is, to some extent, a hero. In this tape the father figure is indeed choosing the right decision and makes an ideal self that the child in the tape, a young Edgar can look to. This makes the absence of father seem so much more important in the next two tapes.

John Orenticher’s tape 3 X Named evolves out of a personal investigation of Orentlicher’s biological parents. The tape is quite amazing to me in that I clearly see how as a viewer I am implicitly participating in who this person is. The test in this piece begins to define his parents. As it happens i see and feel my understanding of John’s identity though his own investigation, one that builds for me nearly as it must of for himself, or as I imagine it would. A pair of images appear in the piece together. In one, there is a figure that is cut out, maybe his father. This heightens the awareness of his absence. Little is mentioned of Orentlicher’s father only that he was a Jewish intelligent from a large family. John’s investigation of himself seems to assign his identity as outsider even though he does not intend this from the  investigation. He asks simply who his parents are. But all it really creates are more questions.

This last tape is by Margaret Stratton entitled Kiss the Boys. This tape takes a normative view of homosexuality and entwines it with the memory of her lost parent. Her father becomes a ghost of herself – someone who judged and watched Margaret. As in Endress’ and Orentlicher’s tape the acts of the parents significantly affect their children. THe absence certainly becomes part of her self-identity. She, even when recognizing her own desires, must appease the structure that her father exists in, haunted by that which defines herself.

As with life and our definition of anything we define ourselves by what we know. Where have we been? What are we told? Wondering what might have been raises most of the content in these works. These are questions that we ask ourselves all the time.

The way that society dictates, or parents dictate, is our first lesson in defining who we are. These tapes, when brought together, begin to show the way we can be affected by larger forces, be they social, political, or something other.

– John W. Mannion, 2001

John W. Mannion is an artist and educator who currently teaches at Light Work in Syracuse, NY. He has taught photography, digital imaging, art history, and media studies at Syracuse University and served as co-director of Sparks Gallery, also in Syracuse.

 


JOHN KLEINHANS

John Kleinhans

NEW LANDSCAPES

November 3 – December 16, 2001

The photographs in this exhibition are drawn from recent work around my home in Woodstock, New York; as well as Monhegan Island, Maine, and Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

I have been privileged to have traveled to far places and have photographed in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the American West. I’ve seen some of the highest mountains and deepest canyons, but it is the landscape where I have spent my life in the northeastern US that moves me most deeply. The Hudson Valley region, with its wooded hills (Westerners are amused to find the word “mountains” applied to the Catskills), fields, farms, and small towns everywhere shows its long habitation and cultivation. Likewise the coast of New England although very rugged, is on a human scale. The little rock of Monhegan reveals the same sort of remnants of many lives lived that we find on our hikes around Woodstock. The overgrown paths, bits of stonewall, and long abandoned orchards are like flickers of memory.

Technical / This show is my first extended effort in digital printmaking. Working with my computer, scanner, and printer has been challenging, occasionally frustrating, and always exciting. The magic I experienced when my first black-and-white prints emerged in the tray of developer 36 years ago, I am experiencing once again. I watch the print head go back and forth, faithfully obeying my most minute commands and feel I’m watching a miracle.

There are pitfalls in working digitally. Whereas in the darkroom one may always be trying to increase one’s control of variables like lightness, contrast, and color, with the computer one must, on the contrary, learn restraint, since the control available goes so far beyond one’s needs. At first there is the temptation to play with every trick in the Photoshop toolbox and risk producing garish monstrosities. The thing I value most about photography is its faithfulness to the visual reality I saw when I first exposed the film in camera. Retaining this fidelity is the greatest challenge in the digital realm. But once this self control is mastered it is such a joy to be able to make that highlight just as white as it should be, to get the black really black, to get that magenta cast out of the sky, to handle that scratch on the negative perfectly. Finally, when you work with your image on the screen you can get to know it better than you ever had before – you can explore every detail. Since my images are made first of all to please myself, this leisurely exploration of the picture provides new enjoyment. The photographs begin as 4×5” color negatives, which I shoot in camera and then develop. They are scanned on an Epson 1680, cleaned, and fine tuned in Photoshop 6, and printed with an Epson 1270 on Lumijet Classic Velour paper (watercolor).

 

John Kleinhans was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1942. In college he began as a music major but turned his attention to psychology and was particularly interested in the psychology of visual perception. He spent twelve years as a psychology professor at Rutgers, Manhattanville College, and the University of Connecticut. During his years in academia he became more and more involved in photography, and ultimately devoted himself to it after his show of French Landscapes at the Alliance Francaise in New York City and his move to Woodstock, NY. In Woodstock John has been closely involved with the Woodstock School of Art where he has been a vice president since the early 1980s. He has also served as a chairman and trustee of the Woodstock Artists Association and an instructor at the Center for Photography at Woodstock. Additionally he works as a designer at Woodstock Percussion Inc.  Kleinhans set up his first darkroom in 1965, began making color prints in the 1970s, platinum prints in the 1990s and is now busy exploring digital photography. He has worked in portrait, architectural, art, aerial, and news photography but always returns to landscape. He has published two books of his landscape photographs – An Image of Monhegan (Precipice Publications, 1997, 2nd edition 2000) and Woodstock Landscapes (Precipice Publications with Golden Notebook Press, 2000).

JURI KIM

Juri Kim

SILENT VOICE

August 18 – October 21, 2001

My recent work represents the complexity of communication.

These images reveal how different cultural and ethnic methods of communication intersect with my own daily life. I search for a relationship between the single hand alphabet of the deaf and the visual language of myself and other artists. I have created my own system of hand gestures as a type of language, which I use to communicate with others.

In the process of this investigation, I have discovered new facets of my own identity. I have opened myself not only to deaf people but also to the people with whom I interact on a daily basis. My work functions as an avenue towards my better understanding of all people.

I project my own hand gestures onto light sensitized canvases. Using various materials and processes I play with contrast, layers, and manipulate the image surface. The images emerge in varying degrees of clarity, from blurred to distinct. In the final piece the photographic image is sealed between layers of varnish.

Juri Kim was born in 1964 in Seoul, Korea and currently resides in New York City. She obtained both her Bachelor of Fine Arts (1988) and Masters of Fine Arts (1990) at the Ewha Women’s University in Seoul, Korea and an additional Masters of Art (1993) at New York University. She took part in the Artist in the Marketplace Program at the Bronx Museum of the Arts in Bronx, NY (1996). Kim has been in numerous exhibitions, including a recent solo show at the A.I.R. Gallery in NYC, Unknown Generation X:? Who Are We? a group show at the Maine Artists Space, and Hands and Waves, Waves and Hands at John Jay Gallery in NYC. Juri has been awarded a PS 122 Project Studio Program grant and the Beatrice Jackson Memorial Award. Kim was a resident in the Center for Photography’s residency program, WOODSTOCK A-I-R in 2000; additionally she has been a resident at the Millay Colony for the Arts, Henry Street Settlement, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.

jurikim.net

Made in Woodstock

MADE IN WOODSTOCK

curated by Ariel Shanberg

August 18 – October 21, 2001

Art can be made with and without anything. Artists continuously remind us that the notion of what is art is an open playing field and not necessarily needing of a definition. Yet what art of all kinds and all artists need is time – to focus, to develop, to create. Woodstock and its community has long been a source of that precious commodity. It has been used as a point of inspiration and a place where one could focus on expressing that which is internal by distancing them from the distracting hustle of their daily lives.

Recognizing the special quality of our region, the Center for Photography at Woodstock, with support from the National Endowment of the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts, began WOODSTOCK A-I-R, a residency program for photo-based artists of color in 1999. After 22 years of supporting artists using photography through exhibition, publication, fellowships, workshops, and educational programming, we recognized the need to bring artists here and share Woodstock’s gifts with them and give them the ability to produce new art work, complete previous projects, and contemplate their next step by providing housing in the historic Byrdcliffe Artist Colony, stipends for food and travel, honoraria, work space and facilities, support, and most especially, time.

With that gift, they have gone on and given us a gift of their own. Often inspired by our everyday surroundings, they have interwoven their ideas with Woodstock, the Catskills, and the Hudson Valley and allowed us to see our everyday world through their eyes. In doing so they have honored and continued the tradition of art made in Woodstock.

– Ariel Shanberg, 2001

[one_half first]"Made in Woodstock", curated by Ariel Shanberg, August 18 - October 21, 2001Susan Evans[/one_half] [one_half]"Made in Woodstock", curated by Ariel Shanberg, August 18 - October 21, 2001Nina Kuo[/one_half] [one_half first]Charles Martin[/one_half] [one_half]"Made in Woodstock", curated by Ariel Shanberg, August 18 - October 21, 2001Karina Skvirsky[/one_half] [one_half first]"Made in Woodstock", curated by Ariel Shanberg, August 18 - October 21, 2001Yoshi Sugitatsu[/one_half] [one_half]"Made in Woodstock", curated by Ariel Shanberg, August 18 - October 21, 2001Kunié Sugiura[/one_half] [one_half first]"Made in Woodstock", curated by Ariel Shanberg, August 18 - October 21, 2001Danny Tisdale[/one_half] [hr]

VICKI RAGAN

Vicki Ragan

MEASURING THE INEFFABLE

June 9 – August 5, 2001

My photographs often reflect the tension between the undeniable –  history, autobiography, commerce, facts, things –  and the mysterious or improbable –  myths, make-believe, intuition, dreams, poetry. I have been collecting and making things to assemble into dioramas – scenes of make-believe –  for the last twenty years: sometimes for the camera, sometimes for instillation.

This body of work began as an exercise in constructing environments out of maps and charts. It evolved into a more metaphorical exploration of the human need to make sense of life and confront morality though ritual and myth.

The images piece together shards of information that are embedded in our collective subconscious from legends and art. They suggest the ambiguity of history and the differing interpretations of classical symbols.

The C-prints I create, initially shot with outdated Polaroid positive-negative film, seek to go beyond the mere ordering of facts by using an unpredictable medium to pull them into the inexplicable world of faith, instinct, and emotion.

Vicki Ragan was born in 1951 in Colorado and currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia. She took her first course in photography at the Kansas City Art Institute in 1970 and went on to obtain her Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Chicago Art Institute and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Arizona at Tucson. After graduate school she worked as a scientific photographer in a structural biology lab at Brandeis University. A recipient of two Polaroid grants, Ragan’s work resides in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum of Fine Art, Helmut Gernsheim Collection at the University of Texas at Austin, and the Huston Museum of Fine Art. Exhibition venues include the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, the Houston Center for Photography, the Print Center in Philadelphia, the Southeast Museum of Photography, and the Art Institute of Boston, among many. Her work is published in books including Oaxacan Ceramics, and The Edible Alphabet Book, magazine covers on the Smithsonian Magazine and the British Journal of Photography, and articles in the New York Times, Atlanta Journal Constitution, American Photographer, and Popular Photography.

TRUE STORY

TRUE STORY

curated by Kathleen Kenyon and Kate Menconeri

June 9 – August 5, 2001

fact or fiction,
the truth be told –
four photographers focus a sharp lens on who “we” are.

Telling tales with a visual alphabet
subjective eyes
stop-watch
private lives, home movies,
domestic landscapes, and suburban dreams.

family, memory, and role play …
how do you picture the intimacy of relationships (identity and self)
through a key hole or from the bedroom?

As insiders/outsiders these image-makers
send messages –
a dialogue of people and place, sign and symbol –
revealing secrets, desires, hopes, fears, memories, and pace.

How do you make visible your home/heart interior?
See scenarios, narratives, and tales mirrored by a generation
looking both back and forth at their surroundings.

[one_half first]"True Story", curated by Kathleen Kenyon and Kate Menconeri, June 9 - August 5, 2001Elinor Carucci[/one_half] [one_half]"True Story", curated by Kathleen Kenyon and Kate Menconeri, June 9 - August 5, 2001Beth Yarnelle Edwards[/one_half] [one_half first]"True Story", curated by Kathleen Kenyon and Kate Menconeri, June 9 - August 5, 2001Gillian Laub[/one_half] [one_half]"True Story", curated by Kathleen Kenyon and Kate Menconeri, June 9 - August 5, 2001Bert Teunissen[/one_half]

 


"Legacy / Dylan in Woodstock", curated by Colleen Kenyon, January 13 - March 11, 2001

LEGACY / Dylan in Woodstock

LEGACY / DYLAN IN WOODSTOCK

curated by Colleen Kenyon

January 13 – March 11, 2001

LEGEND…myth, fable, romance, fiction, celebrity, phenomenon, wonder, luminary…LEGACY…gift, bequest.

In celebration of our Woodstock building and its history as home to both Bob Dylan and the legendary Espresso Café, we present photographs of this musician, often in Woodstock, created by regional and national photographers.

 Music…art…it’s what defines Woodstock – and why we are celebrated as –  the small town known around the world.

Bob Dylan is the voice of a generation, a part of our cultural fabric, and a national treasure. For four decades, his songs, recordings, and performances have been sources of inspiration and discovery for people of all ages.

(-from the book Early Dylan, photographs by Barry Feinstein, Daniel Kramer, Jim Marshall, foreword by Arlo Guthrie, published in 1999 by Bulfinch Press)

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the theme song for a generation….

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who
That it’s namin’.
For the lower now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’.

-THE TIMES THEY ARE A-CHANGIN’, Bob Dylan, first release 1964

Suddenly, in the late 60s, Bob Dylan retreated from his own myth and the tumult he helped inspire – the psychedelia, the student protests – to escape to rural domesticity in Woodstock, where he seems to have found a carefree happiness. A few months afterwards, on July 29, 1966, just before a scheduled 60-date tour of America, Dylan crashed his motorcycle on a back road in his adopted hometown of Woodstock, in upstate New York. A year later, in 1968, photographer Elliott Landy crossed paths with Bob Dylan in Woodstock. Landy was there to photograph The Band for the sleeve of their first album, Music From Big Pink, which had just been recorded in a house they called Big Pink in nearby West Saugerties. With hindsight, you can look at Landy’s photographs of The Band and see where Bob Dylan’s music was going; where Bob Dylan himself was going; backwards, inwards, as far away as possible from the modernist surge of his wild mercury sound. The other abiding presence on Dylan’s new pared-down music was Woodstock itself. A small town 100 miles up the Hudson River from New York, it had been a haven of sorts for nearly 80 years before Dylan’s arrival, providing clean air and privacy for successive generations of visual artists and writers on the run from the big cities of the east coast. In 1902, an Englishman called Ralph Radcliffe Whitehead, influenced by John Ruskin’s writings, had set up an artistic colony there called Byrdcliffe, which comprised workshops, studios, homes and even craft schools. In the 1940s, Leadbelly, the great blues singer, passed through, as did Pete Seeger, who, alongside Dylan, became a leading light of the early 1960s folk revival. (Seeger had been so incensed by Dylan’s 1965 electric set at Newport that he grabbed an axe and tried to hack through the cables and leads that snaked around the stage.)

By the mid-60s, Woodstock was home to a small group of aging beatniks and proto-hippies, whose dissolute lifestyles incensed the local town fathers, who drafted by-laws against loitering and skinny-dipping. Their efforts were in vain, however, and in 1969 the town entered rock history when the Woodstock Festival, held on nearby farmland, attracted more than half-a-million people and the site was declared a national emergency zone. Oneway or another, Woodstock has been living with the fallout of the festival ever since, though it does its best to remain resolutely unaffected by the yearly influx of tourists, many of whom want to revisit the site. Bob Dylan’s Woodstock, on the other hand, was an altogether more sedate place. He first visited the town in 1963, writing songs in a wooden house belonging to Peter Yarrow, who had found fame as one third of the folk group Peter, Paul & Mary. By 1965, Dylan had forsaken Manhattan and was living there, first in one of the original Byrdcliffe colony houses, then, when fans started calling at his door, in a more remote house on Ohayo Mountain. Following the motorcycle accident, nothing was heard of Dylan for 18 months. While he lived a life of domestic contentment in Woodstock with wife, rumors of illness, even death, heightened the myth he had tried so hard to shed. And that, ultimately, is what these photographs of Bob Dylan, rock’s supreme artist, capture: his brief dalliance in “the bliss of the commonplace.” More than anything else, they made me think that it is a long time since Dylan looked or sounded happy, or even content. You have to look back to the time when these extraordinary photographs were taken, to that brief period in Woodstock, when the icon that was Bob Dylan transmogrified into a humble human being. At a defining moment, when the music he was making and the words he was writing had helped ferment the cultural upheaval of the late 1960s, he did the bravest thing he could possibly do – he looked inwards and began, for a brief while at least, to heal himself. Remember him, too, this way. (- from All I Really Want To Do, by Sean O’Hagan, August 26, 2000, The Guardian Weekend, London)

By 1962, Albert Grossman became Dylan’s manager. On August 9, 1962, Dylan went to court in NYC and codified his switch from Zimmerman to Dylan. I think it was a year later, during the summer of 1963, that Dylan first came to Woodstock, spending a month with Suze Rotolo, his girlfriend of the time, at Peter Yarrow’s cabin. By the years 1964 and 1965 he seemed to spend almost as much time in Woodstock as in New York City. In August 1964, for instance, Dylan invited Joan Baez, Mimi Fariña, and Dick Fariña to Woodstock where they would housesit at Albert and Sally Grossman’s house in Byrdcliffe. Around this time Dylan had his celebrated relationship with Baez, who would sing his new songs hot off the typewriter. In Woodstock Dylan would also see his future wife Sara Lowndes, a close friend of Sally Grossman. His gift for melody and inspired image was brought to great heights in this beautiful landscape. One example is the spring of 1965 when he spent here a month of intense songwriting, having just purchased his own house near Grossman’s in Byrdcliffe. It was a few weeks before his famous and then-controversial electric set at the Newport Folk Festival. That June, the great guitarist Mike Bloomfield, then with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, came up to Woodstock to work with Dylan on tunes for Highway 61 Revisited. In November of 1965, Dylan married Sara Lowndes, a marriage that would last until 1978. In early 1966 their son Jesse was born.. (-from Bob Dylan in Woodstock, by Edward Sanders, Woodstock Journal, March 3-17, 2000).

The Center for Photography at Woodstock, a contemporary visual arts venue, has always been home to music and exhibitions. Previously CPW has showcased the collaborations of both arts in the exhibitions Woodstock Remembered: The Twentieth Anniversary (1989) and Woodstock Music and Art (1999). The famed Café Espresso of the 1960s, located on the main floor of our building, saw the birth of a great folk music revival. Bob Dylan lived for a time in 1964 on the second floor of what is now CPW’s classroom, library, and offices. Here he wrote the songs It Ain’t Me Babe, Subterranean Homesick Blues, and Mr. Tambourine Man. While in Woodstock Dylan worked with musicians Peter, Paul and Mary, Joan Baez, John Sebastian, The Band, and Happy Traum. As CPW’s tenant, in 1988, the Espresso was replaced by the Tinker Street Café, who presented a diverse range of national and local talent until 1998. Dylan had moved to the Byrdcliffe art colony of Woodstock in 1965, and later owned a home on Ohayo Mountain Road. He still owns property in Woodstock to this day.

— Colleen Kenyon, January 2001

Special thanks to the artists in the show, Deborah Bell, Julie Gallant at Fotofolio, Andrea Stern, Ed Sanders, Mary Lou Paturel, Doug James, Brian Sobie, Kitty McCullough, CPW’s staff – Kate Menconeri, Ariel Shanberg, Larry Lewis, Kathleen Kenyon, and Judi Esmond; and to my parents who first brought me to Woodstock in 1952.

[one_half first]"Legacy / Dylan in Woodstock", January 13 - March 11, 2001John Cohen[/one_half]

[one_half]"Legacy / Dylan in Woodstock", January 13 - March 11, 2001Lynn Goldsmith[/one_half]

[one_half first]"Legacy / Dylan in Woodstock", January 13 - March 11, 2001Daniel Kramer[/one_half]

[one_half]"Legacy / Dylan in Woodstock", January 13 - March 11, 2001Elliott Landy[/one_half]