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Dulce Pinzón

The Real Story of The Superheroes

November 12 – December 23, 2007

Following September 11, the term hero rose within the national consciousness.

The notion of the hero served our country’s need during a time of national and global crisis and enabled us to acknowledge those who showed extraordinary courage or determination in the face of danger, sometimes even sacrificing their lives in an attempt to save others.

In the shadow of the events of 9/11 and those which followed, I became interested in heroes who sacrifice immeasurable life and labor in their day-to-day lives for the good of others, but who do so in a somewhat less spectacular setting. The Mexican immigrant worker in New York City is a perfect example of the hero who has gone unnoticed. It is common for a Mexican worker based in New York City to work extraordinary hours in extreme conditions for very low wages. They subsequently save those wages at a great cost and sacrifice to themselves and send them to their families and communities in Mexico who rely on their heroism to survive.

The Mexican economy has quietly become dependent on the money sent from workers in the United States. Conversely, the United States economy has quietly become dependant on the labor of Mexican immigrants. Along with the depth of their sacrifice, it is this unspoken dependence which makes the Mexican immigrant workers a subject of interest to me.

“The Real Story of the Superheroes” pays homage to these brave and determined individuals that somehow manage, without the help of any supernatural powers, to withstand extreme conditions in order to help their families and communities survive and prosper.

This project will consist of color photographs of Latino immigrants dressed in the costumes of popular American and Mexican superheroes. Each portrait depicts the worker dressed as a superhero within their work environment, and is accompanied by a short text including the worker’s name, their hometown in Mexico, the number of years they have been working in New York, and the amount of money they send to Mexico each week.

– Dulce Pinzón, 2007

Dulce Pinzón was born in Mexico City in 1974. She attended the Universidad de Las Americas in Puebla, Mexico where she studied Mass Media Communications and earned a MFA in photography from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. In 1995 she moved to New York where she studied at The International Center of Photography. As a young Mexican artist living in the United States, Dulce soon found new inspiration for her photography in feelings of nostalgia, questions of identity, and political and cultural frustrations.

Pinzón’s work has been exhibited internationally including group and solo shows in Mexico, the United States, Australia, Argentina, and throughout Europe. Her images have been published in The New York Times, The Guardian UK, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone, and others.In 2001 one of her images was used for the cover of a reprinting of Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States. Pinzón has received various grants including the prestigious Jovenes Creadores Grant in 2002 and a 2006 New York Foundation for the Arts Artist Fellowship grant in photography. “The Real Story of the Superheroes” series was recognized with an Honorable Mention in the Santa Fe Project Competition in 2006. Pinzón currently resides in Brooklyn.

dulcepinzon.com

Time Tracers

curated by Ariel Shanberg

November 10 – December 23, 2007

The traditional use of a photograph has been to capture the ubiquitous encapsulating “moment” that is a split second of time which seeks to represent/reflect a larger span of time.

The five photographers featured in “Time Tracers” defy that tendency, seeking to represent through the single image or the grouping of multiple images, the passage of time. To do so, they employ a variety of techniques including long exposures (ranging from minutes to days), sequencing multiple images to trace time’s mark on their subjects, and pushing the boundaries of the photographic medium’s ability to record the passage of time on a single sheet of film/paper.

-Ariel Shanberg, 2007

Ariel Shanberg has served as the Executive Director of CPW since 2003.

This exhibit was made possible in part with support from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts,  the New York State Council for the Arts, a state agency, Holiday Inn of Kingston, and Bob Wagner.

 

"Time Tracers", curated by Ariel Shanberg, November 10 - December 23, 2007Rebecca Cummins

"Time Tracers", curated by Ariel Shanberg, November 10 - December 23, 2007Blake Fitch

"Time Tracers", curated by Ariel Shanberg, November 10 - December 23, 2007Mark Klett

"Time Tracers", curated by Ariel Shanberg, November 10 - December 23, 2007Chris McCaw

"Time Tracers", curated by Ariel Shanberg, November 10 - December 23, 2007Junsik Shin


Jonathan Hollingsworth

What We Think Now

September 1 – October 21 2007

“What We Think Now” was born of modest ambitions.

The project was initially conceived as a 10-image editorial submission for a fledgling youth culture magazine in Los Angeles, where I was living at the time. When I started photographing, George W. Bush had just been re-elected, the War on Terror was not being won in Iraq, more and more soldiers were dying, my friends and family had turned out to the polls in droves, and judging from the ethos of the city, I knew I was not the only one who had misgivings about our nation’s invasion of Iraq.

In late November 2004 I set out with my camera, a stack of poster-board and some markers and began approaching people. One month later, I had accrued a small portfolio of images, which were all rejected by the magazine. My initial goal of getting the work published seemed insignificant, and my early outings only inspired me to keep working. I decided that the work should be a survey of opinions representing people from a variety of demographics, so I traveled to Santa Ana, the beach communities of Orange County, Palmdale, San Francisco, Berkeley and Los Angeles. All of the photographs were shot on the street using natural light and whatever background was immediately available, sometimes yielding amazing compositions and arrangements of color. The majority of the subjects were strangers whom I approached, talked to, and photographed all in a matter of minutes.

I was specifically interested in recording what people my own age had to say about the issue as the burden of war would fall heaviest upon us. I decided that my subjects would be 30-years-old or younger. I wanted to create work which expressed the ideas of individuals, relying solely on their words. I also wanted their ideas to be incorporated in the image, so that persona and opinion were fused into one. The aim of my work was to give my generation a voice, but in doing so, I uncovered mass confusion. So many people misunderstood the connections between the bombing of the World Trade Center, Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and the invasion of Iraq. It would be easy to attribute this confusion to stupidity or laziness, but more likely, it seems that people have been duped by the government’s rhetoric.

Ultimately these images reveal a nation and a generation in turmoil. It seems premature to suggest that the tasks of asking questions and recording answers are complete. It might be a long time before we can afford to stop talking about the decision to invade and remake a nation.

– Jonathan Hollingsworth, 2006

Jonathan Hollingsworth is a photographer currently based in Santa Fe, NM. A recent graduate of Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, CA, Hollingsworth’s work has been published in LA City Beat and Orange County Weekly. “What We Think Now” has previously been exhibited at 18th Street Gallery in Santa Monica, UC Riverside California Museum of Photography in Riverside and at College of Santa Fe. He has also exhibited at Center for Digital Art, Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, Otis College of Art and Design, and Arden Gallery in Costa Mesa.

jonathanhollingsworth.com

Photographs by Iraqi Civilians, 2004

September 1 – October 21, 2007

By now it is a truism that “The first casualty of war is truth.”

How is anyone to know what is going on? Which news source to believe: Al Jazeera? Fox? CNN? Both the New York Times and Washington Post recently apologized to their readers for the inadequacy of their pre-invasion period coverage.

US and other foreign journalists were “embedded” with American and British troops. Few were able to explore the Iraqi side of things.

Now it is unsafe for US journalists to walk the streets in much of Iraq. Few speak Arabic. In many situations reporting is prohibitively dangerous and difficult.

The Daylight Community Arts Foundation, a group committed to new forms of documentary, had the idea of providing Iraqi civilians with disposable cameras to get another, perhaps more tenable point of view. Why not ask the subjects what is going on, instead of making them the objects of a foreigner’s camera?

These pictures are a result of that experiment. They are glimpses from the inside. Ten people were given cameras in April and May. They were told: “This is an opportunity to show the American public what you want them to see.”

No one has found weapons of mass destruction. But in these pictures – taken from only ten rolls of film – there may be glimmers of another, more formidable weapon: understanding.

-Fred Ritchin, 2004

Fred Ritchin is the director of PixelPress.

PixelPress is an organization that encourages documentary photographers, writers, filmmakers, artists, human rights workers and students to take advantage of the digital media. They encourage an active dialogue between the author, reader and subject. PixelPress has worked with organizations such as Crimes of War, Human Rights Watch, World Health Organization and UNICEF, as well as individuals such as Machiel Botman, Kent Klich and Sebastião Salgado. To learn more visit www.pixelpress.org.

Daylight Community Arts Foundation is a non-profit organization focused on community-based documentary partnerships throughout the world. They believe that the distribution of imagery and text addressing issues of importance can empower individuals and communities to affect long-lasting change. To learn more about Daylight visit www.daylightmagazine.org.

All proceeds from the sale of the images will go to the ‘Friends of Jassim’, a collective of concerned individuals from the photographic community working to raise awareness and foster dialogue on the multitude of issues surrounding the work of fixers, while also urgently trying to secure the safety of Iraqi fixer Jassim.

 

 

PHOTOGRAPHY NOW 2007

curated by Alison D. Nordström, Ph.D

June 9 – August 20, 2007

Photography Now 2007 presents the works of nine widely disparate photographers that, when assembled in one room, makes an emotionally cohesive whole.

Almost never do we look at photographs one at a time. In jurying an exhibition, rather than judging a competition, the principal concern must be to create an interesting, harmonious selection that becomes “one thing”. It goes without saying that the work must be good. By that I mean original, well crafted, and intelligent. Anything else would be jarring, distracting, boring or an insult to the viewer. However being good is not enough when what is being chosen is an exhibition rather than say, the Champion Pig at the County Fair.

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Gideon Barnett’s bleak and abstracted color landscapes emphasize the sculptural qualities of heaps of gravel, against pale skies. It is perhaps the kind of world that might be inhabited by the “Anonymous Lives” depicted (and created) by Paul Giguere. While the blurred and hazy shadows of this series contrast stylistically with the precise particularities of Barnett’s formal topographies of nothing, they are linked by mood and evocative overtones. In a similar way Andrew Liccardo’s panoramic Texas landscapes suggest both complexity and minimalism. The formally spare setting is exaggerated by revealing glimpses of a usually negative human presence.

Allison Hunter’s dramatic tableaux of animals are powerful in their own right, but in the context of the other work in the show suggest ambiguous allegory. The sheep in Hunter’s piece may serve as stand-ins for the human condition as they have in literature since the Bible. Here, spectacularly lit and without environment, they lend a poetic resonance to the smaller and quieter works of the show. Forest McMullin’s abstract and luminous images of road kill are particularly haunting in context with Hunter’s aspirational perfection, reminiscent, perhaps of William Butler Yeats’ “terrible beauty.” Figuratively situated between Hunter and McMullin is Chad Hunt’s arresting and revealing images of young American soldiers in Afghanistan, serve as a center for the entire exhibition that, like the war they depict, are impossible to ignore.

As with Giguere’s very different images, it is emotional tone that links Hunt’s realistic work to Kristopher Stallworth’s exquisite square format night landscapes. Beautiful, troubling, dark and mysterious, they are the stuff of dreams or nightmares. Similarly Tamara Lischka’s emblematic images of fetuses may offer us either hope or despair in their perfection and fragility. Frank Palaia’s surreal sculptures of suitcases and softly glowing romantic color images of travel may be a beacon for those of us who internalize the darkness we see and feel around us. It is not that the world does or does not intrinsically make sense so much as we make whatever sense of it we can. Photography, with its roots ineluctably embedded in the real and the present, is well suited to this necessary act of our persistence and survival.

Though not featured in this exhibition I would like to extend a nod to three honorable mentions. Dona Schwartz’s study of the domestic settings of expectant parents, Candace Plummer Gaudiani’s moody fragmented landscapes glimpsed from train windows, and Raina Matar’s exploration of women and the veil in her native Lebanon are well-conceived, intelligent, cohesive bodies of work that merit recognition despite their absence from the exhibition.

– Alison D. Nordström, 2007

Alison D. Nordström is curator of Photographs at George Eastman House, the oldest and largest museum of photography in the US. She was the Founding Director and Senior Curator of the Southeast Museum of Photography in Daytona Beach, Florida from 1991 to 2002 where she curated over 100 exhibitions of photography including the popular biennial series Fresh Work. At the George Eastman House, she has initiated the contemporary biennial Vital Signs, and has curated Paris: Photographs by Eugene Atget & Christopher Rauschenberg, Why Look at Photographs?, and Found: Photographs by Gerald Slota. She writes and lectures extensively on contemporary photography. Nordström holds a PhD in Cultural Studies and Visual Studies. 

 

 

"Photography Now 2007", curated by Alison D. Nordström, Ph.D, June 9 - August 20, 2007Gideon Barnett

"Photography Now 2007", curated by Alison D. Nordström, Ph.D, June 9 - August 20, 2007Paul Giguere

"Photography Now 2007", curated by Alison D. Nordström, Ph.D, June 9 - August 20, 2007Chad Hunt

"Photography Now 2007", curated by Alison D. Nordström, Ph.D, June 9 - August 20, 2007Allison Hunter

"Photography Now 2007", curated by Alison D. Nordström, Ph.D, June 9 - August 20, 2007Andrew Liccardo

"Photography Now 2007", curated by Alison D. Nordström, Ph.D, June 9 - August 20, 2007Tamara Lischka

"Photography Now 2007", curated by Alison D. Nordström, Ph.D, June 9 - August 20, 2007Forest McMullin

"Photography Now 2007", curated by Alison D. Nordström, Ph.D, June 9 - August 20, 2007Franc Palaia

"Photography Now 2007", curated by Alison D. Nordström, Ph.D, June 9 - August 20, 2007Kristopher Stallworth

 


Dave Anderson

Rough Beauty

June 9 – August 20, 2007

In 2003, I began to photograph Vidor, Texas.

Originally from the Midwest and having lived most of my adult years in the Northeast, I had heard that Vidor was a “Klan Town” and was curious to learn what, exactly, constituted such a place. What I found was not at all what I had expected.

A small rural community in the Southeast corner of Texas, Vidor is a complex place: on the one hand it is hospitable, tight-knit and fiercely, wonderfully, independent. And yet the town is also a deeply suspicious place ­bordering on the paranoid. Despite its many complexities, there is no doubt that it is a community of absolutely remarkable resiliency and homespun inventiveness. As the town attempts to move beyond its past, its pride combined with the everyday fact of living with a permanent kind of American poverty, makes the journey a difficult one.

Through these photographs I hope to provide a psychological landscape of Vidor: a place, which, despite its many flaws, always shows a rough kind of beauty.

– Dave Anderson, 2007

At the age of 9, Dave Anderson began photographing with a Kodak Instamatic camera. After working in various fields ranging from being a member of President Bill Clinton’s staff to working at an independent movie studio, he took-up photography full-time after participating in a course at the International Center for Photography (ICP) in New York City . Named a “Rising Star” by Photo District News in 2004, Anderson received the 2005 Santa Fe Center for Photography Project Competition prize for his series “Rough Beauty”. His work has been exhibited internationally, including solo exhibitions at ClampArt in NYC, the Griffin Museum in Winchester, MA; the Stephen Wirtz Gallery in Los Angeles, CA; and, in 2008, at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, Il. Dave has been published in various media including The New York Times, NPR, Newsweek, British Journal of Photography, and is in the collection of various museums including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; George Eastman House, Rochester, NY; the Art Museum of Southeast Texas, Beaumont, TX; Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, MA; and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans, LA. In fall 2006 Dewi Lewis Publishing ( UK ) produced a monograph of his work, entitled Rough Beauty with text by Anne Wilkes Tucker, Curator of photographs at the Museum of Fine Art in Houston, TX.

dbanderson.com

DEATH BIZARRE

curated by Colette Copeland

March 31 – May 27, 2007

The inspiration for the exhibition came from reading Mary Roach’s darkly humorous best-selling book, Stiff—The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers and my own fascination with the macabre.

The project Death Bizarre features eighteen artists, whose work examines people, places, and objects associated with death from a conceptual and metaphorical perspective. The artists’ work utilizes death as a catalyst to demystify human experience and the fascination with human mortality. The artists employ different strategies in order to access the theme; some use the trope of beauty; some use dark humor. All engage their work with seriousness befitting the subject matter.

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Andrea Pickens, Adriane Little, Anita Allyn and Lauren Simonutti’s work emanates from personal tragedies. Andrea Pickens’ father was brutally murdered when she was a child. Following the murder, the artist frequently dreamed of flying. This reoccurring dream and devastating experience permeates her work. Snapshot Series features digitally altered family photographs, in which Pickens inserts herself ‘flying.’ Eerily hovering above the heads of oblivious, smiling family members, only her legs are visible. Ironically, the figure appears not to be flying or floating, but as if she had hung herself with a noose. The images represent the simultaneous act of fleeing and remaining rooted in personal history and memories.

Adriane Little’s digital photographs derive from her mother’s death when she was seven. Marking the barren landscape of upstate New York, Little’s digital ‘billboards’ serve as a site of both mourning and renewal. Using the syntax of advertising, the work references the death or absence of the maternal body.

In 1986, Anita Allyn’s best friend in art school was killed–the resulting investigation unable to determine whether it was accidental or intentional. For Allyn, the event activated an ongoing epistemological debate on the subjects of accidents, circumstance and predestination. The video Melancholy Object recreates the mise-en-scene of death, serving as homage to friendship.

A serious accident in the mid 1990’s left indelible scars, which Lauren Simonutti channels into her artistic practice. Her photographic installation and book entitled, Drowning, Not Waving presents case studies of suicide victims and the objects/artifacts left behind. In the absence of a note, these objects create a narrative, speaking for the deceased. Each composition contains a snapshot of the victim, the victim’s signature, a concise report of the mode of death and photographic documentation of the contents of the victim’s pockets, what was found clutched in their hands or arranged to be the last thing the deceased would see on this earth. The larger scale of the object image vs. the portrait image suggests that the objects carry more meaning or history than the snapshots. The series challenges established notions of truth and the construction of history.

Both John Mann’s and Brian Moss’ work also address issues of truth and absence in photography. Incorporating letters documenting deaths of his ancestors, John Mann’s platinum print series, Silent Elegy examines traces of lives lost to memory. Rather than giving information regarding the lives of the loved ones, the notes comprised only the names and dates and detailed causes of death. Mann’s recollections become inextricably linked with the manner of death. In the absence of photographs, Mann constructs and documents a cairn of branches/logs serving as a memorial to those lost souls.

In the series entitled, Absence, Brian Moss explores death on both a figurative and literal level. Scanning historically significant documentary war photographs and digitally removing the dead or dying bodies expunges the literal representation of death from the image. The work also alludes to the metaphoric death inherent in photography; death of a moment as frozen by the camera, death of the image as it is altered, death of the author and originality, further compounded by digital technology. Through the absence, the viewer contemplates the context and supposed neutrality or objectivity of documentary photography and its relationship to history.

Nadia Hironaka and Delmira Valladares use the cinematic language of horror and suspense films to explore urban myths of murder in their respective cities. Intrigued by rumors of murder in a house in her South Philadelphia neighborhood, Nadia Hironaka creates a fictionalized account of the murder, reversing the gender roles of the typical horror film genre. The title of the video, Scared To Death refers to the femme fatale character, which is often portrayed with a split personality—an object of both desire and horror.

Based on a trio of fantastic, but true stories occurring in Union City, NJ, Delmira Valladares employs minimal, straightforward story-telling devices to delve into the underground, urban Latino mythology of her city. Stories from the street involving murder, suicide, kidnapping and forcible hypnosis form the narrative of this three channel video work.

Sourcing images from visual culture including film, news and the media, artists Karina Skvirsky, Patrick Craig Manning, Robert Hirsch and Matt Weed examine the manifestations of violent imagery, its distribution and ultimately its consumption by the mass public. In Karina Skvirsky’s Blowback, appropriated b-roll news images of victims of war and natural disasters promenade through Central Park slowly materializing in the landscape. Caught in the crossfire of cameras, they transmogrify into symbolic zombies, wavering between life and death. The video considers the xenophobia that infuses the news and internalized by our culture. Coined by the CIA in the 1950’s the term “Blowback” describes the ‘unintended consequences of the US government’s international activities.”

Patrick Craig Manning’s Danse Macabre consists of 21 endlessly looping videos, composed from secondary characters extracted from major motion pictures. The figures re-enact the motions they made in the two seconds before their so-called deaths. Stuck in their ceaseless motion of purgatory, the deaths melt from our memories as soon as the next scene commences.

Using the process of recycling as way to re-examine history, Robert Hirsch’s World in a Jar: War & Trauma reflects upon visual cultural memories involving death, evil, tragedy, and trauma over the past 400 years. Through the course of selection, re-photographing, editing, and distilling, Hirsh presents the images in glass jars, specimens of our violent history. The large-scale installation in its form presented at CPW, consists of 96 stacked glass jars speaks to our obsession with violence and death.

The video, The Killing Fields by Matt Weed implicates the viewer as a consumer of violent images. Using video clips from International news and terrorist organizations found on the Internet, Weed manipulates the images, distilling them down to nearly abstract, sometimes beautiful images. His work questions how visual definitions of violence are constructed and how the media uses the divisive cues to elicit shock, pleasure and/or sympathy. As image consumers, do we play the role of perpetrator, victim or something else?

Corinne May Botz’, Lucinda Devlin’s, and Celia A. Shapiro’s work considers the process of criminal investigation and subsequent ‘justice’ in our legal system. In The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death, Corinne May Botz photographs a collection of eighteen crime scene models that were built in the 1940’s and 50’s by a progressive criminologist Frances Glessner Lee (1878 – 1962). The crime scene models, which were based on actual homicides, suicides, and accidental deaths, were created to train detectives to assess visual evidence. Framing the haunting details of the murder scene dollhouses, Botz’ noir fiction images explore the dark side of domestic life.

Surveying the psychologically complex domain of interior spaces, Lucinda Devlin’s photographic series, The Omega Suites documents the execution chambers in the US. The large-format color portraits provide unique cultural readings on how spaces, objects and artifacts imbibe meaning. The work was not intended as a polemic against the death penalty, but as an examination of the institutions, accoutrements and rituals of death work.

Celia A. Shapiro’s photographs entitled, The Last Supper meditate on the violent paradox of justice and retribution. Recreating the requested last meals of executed prisoners, the work reflects on the symbol of the meal as life-giving and the subsequent execution as life-taking. The body politic is giving sustenance to the body condemned.

Employing the syntax of scientific observation, John Pinderhughes’, Nate Larson’s, and Talia Greene’s work investigates the relationship between the natural world, science and the human body. John Pinderhughes’ black and white photographic series Burnt Offerings, involves the saving of social detritus, the study of borrowed time, the stripping down of a physical object to bear its soul and the graphic interplay of light and line with emotional scrutiny. Outwardly, each image is a diary, a borrowed moment, a suspended fragment, a holding close of time and social involvement. Each object, stripped to its essence, invokes the chorus of human relationships.

Nate Larson’s photographs reveal what is unseen to the human eye. Invented in 1939 by Seymon Kirlian, Kirlian photography is a process that passes electricity through an object to produce an image on photographic film or paper, without the use of light. The photosensitized material records multicolored electrical emanations from the object, which some refer to as auras or biofields. Some experimenters believe that the photographs give physical form to psychic energy. Others believe that it reveals the etheric body, one of the layers of the aura thought to permeate all animate objects.

Examining the tenuous relationship between observation, preservation and the human desire to control nature, Talia Greene’s digital prints question the ways in which we interact with nature, our attempts to study and ultimately destroy it. In the series Observation/Preservation, the artist highlights vulnerability, and the implicit violence inherent in the urge to observe and control. The prints portray an unsettling juxtaposition of bugs before and after their dismemberment, asking the viewer to empathize with the insect, as well as with the urge to scrutinize it.

Together the works on view evoke a vivid glance into human existence and the symbiotic relationship between the corporeal body and its place in nature and culture.

– Colette Copeland

Colette Copeland is a multi-media artist who teaches visual studies, art writing and photography at University of Pennsylvania and critical theory at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She received her BFA from Pratt Institute in New York and her MFA from Syracuse University. She is the recipient of a Leeway Foundation Award for Art & Change. Her photographic and video installations have been exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally. Copeland writes a column for the photography journal Fotophile Magazine and contributes to Exposure Journal and The Photo Review. In addition to her other activities, Copeland is the Chairperson of the Mid-Atlantic Region of the Society for Photographic Education. She lives in Media, PA with her husband and two children. She has been obsessed with the macabre and death since childhood.

 

"Death Bizarre", curated by Colette Copeland, March 31 - May 27, 2007Anita Allyn

"Death Bizarre", curated by Colette Copeland, March 31 - May 27, 2007Corinne May Botz

"Death Bizarre", curated by Colette Copeland, March 31 - May 27, 2007Lucinda Devlin

"Death Bizarre", curated by Colette Copeland, March 31 - May 27, 2007Talia Greene

"Death Bizarre", curated by Colette Copeland, March 31 - May 27, 2007Nadia Hironaka

"Death Bizarre", curated by Colette Copeland, March 31 - May 27, 2007Robert Hirsch

"Death Bizarre", curated by Colette Copeland, March 31 - May 27, 2007Nate Larson

"Death Bizarre", curated by Colette Copeland, March 31 - May 27, 2007Adriane Little

"Death Bizarre", curated by Colette Copeland, March 31 - May 27, 2007John Mann

"Death Bizarre", curated by Colette Copeland, March 31 - May 27, 2007Patrick Craig Manning

"Death Bizarre", curated by Colette Copeland, March 31 - May 27, 2007Brian Moss

"Death Bizarre", curated by Colette Copeland, March 31 - May 27, 2007Andrea Pickens

"Death Bizarre", curated by Colette Copeland, March 31 - May 27, 2007John Pinderhughes

"Death Bizarre", curated by Colette Copeland, March 31 - May 27, 2007Celia A. Shapiro

"Death Bizarre", curated by Colette Copeland, March 31 - May 27, 2007Lauren Simonutti

"Death Bizarre", curated by Colette Copeland, March 31 - May 27, 2007Karina Aguilera Skvirsky

"Death Bizarre", curated by Colette Copeland, March 31 - May 27, 2007Delmira Valladares

"Death Bizarre", curated by Colette Copeland, March 31 - May 27, 2007Matt Weed

 


 

Susana Reisman

A Sense of Departure

March 31 – May 27, 2007

As a photo-based artist, I am deeply interested in questioning forms of visual representation.

Through my work I seek to address the ways in which we experience and interpret what we see; how we encounter, read, construct, classify, categorize and evaluate our visual world.

The photo-sculptures, created in 2004 & 2005, re-configure the framework and conditions in which the photographic image is normally perceived. Here the ‘photograph’ is no longer a flat representation or a ‘window onto the world’ but rather a three-dimensional sculpture. Standing before these ‘photographs’ we are confronted with the materiality of the photographic image as it becomes the object’s skin, a delicate and impermanent surface wrapping around space. The photo-sculptures, displayed as stand-alone objects, are alternately represented in the form of photographic light boxes. Their simultaneous presence raises the difficult question of the nature or essence of the photographic image itself.

My attraction to those physically manipulated sculptural forms subsequently caused me to abandon the photographic image entirely. Working with blank canvas, these forms began to take over my studio, and grew into undulating landscapes. In these topographies, the moods of peaks and valleys which shifted as the light changed—brought me to appreciate anew and want to capture and fix in time—as a two-dimensional representation—that which was fleeting and impermanent.

In retrospect, this process has compelled me to return to explore the evocative power and poetics of the photographic medium—the language of light and shadow, depth of field, framing, timing, and vantage point.

– Susana Reisman, 2007

Susana Reisman is a graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology (MFA), who now lives in Toronto, Ontario. Born and raised in Venezuela, Reisman’s work has been exhibited throughout the United States and Canada, including solo exhibitions at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and at the University of Rochester as well as numerous group exhibitions including ones at the Photographic Resource Center in Boston, MA., the Eastern Front Gallery in Toronto, and the Synapse Gallery and Center for Photography in Benton Harbor, MI. She has been a guest speaker at the 2006 Society for Photographic Education national conference in Chicago, IL. and participated in DIALOGUE: art.technology.imagery as a panelist at the 2004 SPE Mid-Atlantic Conference in Laurel, MD. Her work was featured in the anthology, Alphabet City: Trash, published by MIT Press in fall 2006.

susanareisman.com

Kiss and Tell

curated by Kate Menconeri

January 20 – March 18, 2007

Tell me a story about a kiss.

Tell me where you were and what the weather was like. Tell me what was said (what was not said). Tell me what you could not even tell your best friend. Tell me the story as it sits in your memory: the story of the guy you kissed on a rooftop who disappeared to Mexico and the backseat where you and your girlfriend had sex in high school. Tell me the story and take me to where it happened. Drive me there, and I will take a photograph. – Sara Macel

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Kiss & Tell features work by 8 artists from the US and abroad who find their subject matter in personal connections and use photography to explore intimacy. From the electric sensation of a favorite shared kiss, to intimate portraits of a photographer’s muse, to images that challenge our perceptions about sexual identity within intimate partnerships, the artists in Kiss & Tell present a visual dialogue exploring private realms that are as complex and layered as the intricacy of intimacy itself.

The title is inspired by the work of Sara Macel. To create Kiss & Tell, Macel gathered stories from strangers and friends about their favorite kiss. A visual narrative of borrowed memories and place, Macel’s project suggests both the veiled privacy we share with intimates, as well as the provocative act, in photographing, of bringing this personal realm into the public sphere. Sara’s work opens the dialogue in Kiss & Tell, asking the viewer to go to that place – be it physical or felt memory – of the feeling you experience in a sublime kiss. The absence of figures in her imagery invites our own personal associations and experiences, while simultaneously reminding us of the limits. Unless we are part of that connection, lips locked, how deeply can we ever really understand what exists between two people?

Artists, Todd Jordan, Elinor Carucci, and Kyung Duk Kim, attempt to broaden and visualize that dynamic and private world by sharing personal moments between themselves and their lovers. In sleep, in the midst of a fight, or in times of play, these artists use the camera to explore the boundaries and boundlessness of their private connections.

Working within the long tradition of the artist and muse, Todd Jordan’s sensitive and observant portraits of Myriam shadow the footsteps of iconic greats and the work Alfred Stieglitz made of Georgia O’Keefe, Harry Callahan of Eleanor, Emmet Gowin of Edith, and Nicholas Nixon of Bebe. With candor, trust, and curiosity, Jordan’s pictures study someone with whom he is very close, and the resulting images reveal a generous spirit and physically and emotionally open connection. Todd’s images showing Myriam both in everyday settings of serious contemplation and playful intimacy, express a desire to understand a whole person rather than single parts we may choose to love. While the photographs present Jordan’s own view, Myriam’s willingness to reveal herself is equally essential. In exposing each other through this collaborative visual exploration, they deepen that which already lives between them.

Elinor Carucci also finds subject matter in her own life, but looks not at the romance of close partnership, but rather the reality of the struggles we can experience. Created during a time of crisis within their marriage, her diaristic narratives are drawn with deep reds and blues. Picturing fragments of their most intimate and vulnerable daily exchanges – naked taking a bath, tending toenails, sitting together exposed but separated by a gulf of space… we see the couple often just out of reach from one another, a tension or fear palpitates between their bodies. With titles like Guilt, Will it Feel the Same, Love in Spite, and Cherries I Ate by Myself, the work becomes both a visual and conceptual metaphor for the opposing challenges couples may face in seeking both autonomy and fulfilling connection. In taking a step back to photograph their lives, Carucci finds the space to observe and better understand the emotional terrain between the lovers. In turn bringing them closer to reconnecting.

There are also the many elusive personal places that exist between two confidantes – places behind closed doors that remain invisible and untouchable to those outside the circle. Kyung Duk Kim’s delicate photographs of herself and her husband reflected in the fleeting light of a lamp above their bed suggest a visual metaphor for intimacy itself. The fragility, vulnerability, and transcendent nature of those connections as well as the boundaries of public versus private are brought to light, quite literally in Kyung’s circular portraits. Within our everyday lives, where we rest our head, lie the complex and often inaccessible emotional bonds that unite two lovers. No one outside that circle, in Kyung’s case, metaphorically that light, can fully see nor understand the inner workings within the marriage. As the frame expands beyond the two, that which is shared between husband and wife becomes abstract, unreadable, and fades.

Similar to Todd, Elinor, and Kyung, Johnny Miller‘s homage to his parent’s love in his installation of found love letters written while his father was serving in Vietnam, transport us into the private correspondence between two sweethearts separated during wartime. The letters reveal the two sides within any intimate relationship – the desperately passionate love but also the banal and routine concerns of daily living. From dentist visits and money concerns to wildly romantic confessions of undying love, the letters are both humbly authentic and innocently dedicated to the idea of all consuming earth shattering love itself. While this couple has since parted ways, (making these letters perhaps more bittersweet), their sincere dedication and heartfelt vows of love for one another stands like a beacon of hope, trusting the power of love to sustain and carry us through dark hours.

Also examining ways in which love is expressed, Bharti Parmar’s cyanotype images of 19th century amatory lockets reveal a micro drama of symbols and reflect on cultural objects of the past about human expressions of love. Evoking secrecy, seduction, and echoing the closed doors of lovers that Kyung’s work reveals, Parmar’s images carry metaphorical titles that speak to romantic hopes that lovers will always remember us, cherish us, and be faithful for ever more. Grounded in historic rituals connecting enamored couples as they professed love or traveled apart, the work suggests that emotional communication can often be best expressed through symbol and action rather than words.

Finally calling into question our cultural and social assumptions about sexuality, gender, and identity, both Karen Brett and Kelli Connell create an alternative and often overlooked interpretation of intimacy.

Karen Brett’s tightly framed and tactile color prints from the series, The Myth of Sexual Loss, explore the ageing sexual body with integrity, sensuality, and sensitivity. They challenge ideology surrounding sexuality and the fear of the ageing body that exists within our society, allowing us to reconsider our own assumptions about personal intimacy and sexuality. These images contradict narrow ideas about the objectified sexual body. They are authentic, without inhibition, and celebrate the fired spark of physical sexual intimacy.

Kelli Connell’s digitally constructed images featuring a couple in which both models are the same person, question social constructs and the identity of self in relationships. Often re-enactments based upon her own experiences, Connell’s rich and familiar scenes of shared days of rest, tense quarrels, and heated afternoons of foreplay and lovemaking, allow one to consider one’s relationship with the self – perhaps one of the most profound if not constant relationships we are in, as well as the dual roles we play within an intimate relationship with another. Masculine and feminine, and interior and exterior roles shift. One may also question where the single self presides and where we dissolve into the identity of the couple. The interpretations of this work can be as diverse as the viewers who will see it.

What does it feel like to share your most personal, exposed, or private moments? How does it make you more vulnerable, open, or connected? What would it look like? In kissing and telling the diverse creative visions presented in this exhibit allow us to think upon our own affections and heartstrings with greater meaning, deeper expression, and compassionate understanding.

– Kate Menconeri, 2007

This exhibit was made possible in part with support from Holiday Inn of Kingston, Lucky Chocolates, Catskill Mountain Coffee, Chocolate Cheers, Woodstock Wines & Liquors, Polaroid, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and the New York State Council for the Arts, a state agency.
Karen Brett

"Kiss and Tell", curated by Kate Menconeri, January 20 - March 18, 2007Karen Brett

"Kiss and Tell", curated by Kate Menconeri, January 20 - March 18, 2007Elinor Carucci

"Kiss and Tell", curated by Kate Menconeri, January 20 - March 18, 2007Kelli Connell

"Kiss and Tell", curated by Kate Menconeri, January 20 - March 18, 2007Todd Jordan

"Kiss and Tell", curated by Kate Menconeri, January 20 - March 18, 2007Kyung Duk Kim

"Kiss and Tell", curated by Kate Menconeri, January 20 - March 18, 2007Sara Macel

"Kiss and Tell", curated by Kate Menconeri, January 20 - March 18, 2007Johnny Miller

"Kiss and Tell", curated by Kate Menconeri, January 20 - March 18, 2007Bharti Parmar