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Of the more than 16 million Americans who served during the Second World War, fewer than one million of these heroic men and women are still with us today. Now more than ever, there is a heightened sense of responsibility and urgency to collect, circulate, and learn from the accounts of our veterans and their loved ones. In The Things They Kept, Carolyn Wagner tells these stories as preserved objects—the things that have seen war. Every tear, every blemish, and every mark forms both an individual and collective narrative of the Second World War. By taking notice of these material items saturated with human history, we widen our understanding of how others managed, sacrificed, and survived in the world we share.
Highlighting uncertainty and contradiction, Truth or Dare emphasizes the importance of questioning both knowledge and belief by featuring artists that utilize illusion to entice, entertain, and explore the slippery terrain between fact and fiction, presence and absence, and reality and imagination. The suspension of disbelief is invoked in works that simulate games, maps, and tricks of the eye and hand—not to deceive, but to engage and connect. Today, cartography is a relic, replaced with global positioning systems that describe geography through virtual, screen-based information that appears and disappears in a keystroke. If maps have outlived their original use, what truth might they still tell? In contemporary art, maps, along with books and other printed texts, remain potent sources of inspiration for exploring the intersections of knowledge and fantasy, and of experience and imagination.
Facing continuing global strife, political instability, and economic disparity, the artworks featured in Truth or Dare speak truth to power through unconventional, often playful juxtapositions of imagery and materials, asking viewers to look and think—and question—twice. At a time when alternate facts equate to misrepresentations of truth, the alternate fictions of art may speak more honest, deeper truths. The alternative reality of the 21st-century artist’s imaginative universe may offer the ideal arena in which to confront the present and envision the future.
Featured Artists: Slater Bradley, Nick Brandt, Sebastiaan Bremer, Alain Declercq, Adonis Flores, Anthony Goicolea, Luis Gonzalez Palma, Ann Hamilton, Miler Lagos, Yousseff Nabil, Paolo Ventura, Federico Somi
Also on view – Spotlight: LaToya Ruby Frazier
LaToya Ruby Frazier’s haunting and evocative photographs document the people, places, and politics that have shaped her life and her art. Frazier’s hometown of Braddock, Pennsylvania, located just outside of Pittsburgh, is both the source and subject of her best-known body of work, The Notion of Family; four works from this series are presented here. Within the domestic settings of living rooms, bedrooms, and bathrooms, Frazier’s images of her mother Cynthia, her grandmother Ruby, and the young JC, as well as of herself, illuminate both the intimacy between them and their struggles with economic insecurity and chronic disease—struggles shared by the broader community of Braddock and beyond.
This presentation of photographs by LaToya Ruby Frazier is the inaugural Spotlightexhibition, a new 21c initiative that focuses on a single artist making time-based work. Frazier’s work was selected for Spotlight because her photographs embody and express the theme of FotoFocus 2018, Open Archive. Documenting personal and public experience, Frazier’s practice expands the notion of an archive to include family narrative, social commentary, political critique, and aesthetic innovation.
Prospect and Refuge, an ongoing series of work by photographer Chris Engman, investigates the medium of photography through complicated juxtapositions. This body of work explores the relationship between illusion and materiality, nature and the man-made universe, moment and memory. Through Engman’s laborious process—a careful documentation and detailed re-creation—the artist asks the viewer to consider how we understand photographs and how we experience the world.
Engman works with photographs as objects in physical space, scaling them to fit into the confines of a constructed environment. A mass of photographic images is meticulously transferred to the material surfaces of a space—covering the walls, ceiling, floor, and everything in between—then photographed from one single vantage point. The result is a “straight” photograph of a manipulated existence—a fabricated reality that feels incredibly real. The logic of the two spaces overlaps, sometimes agreeing and sometimes colliding. A photograph, here and by analogy, tries and fails to be a container for moments and places.
Containment, a new site-specific work created for the FotoFocus Biennial, gives viewers a rare glimpse into Engman’s manufactured “architectural landscapes.” This constructed environment fuses the tangible and surreal, playing with preconceived notions and expectations about time, space, memory, and images as truth-telling mediums.
This project exploring Engman’s Prospect and Refuge series features two parts: Containment, an installation in the street level gallery, and a suite of photographs in the main gallery opening in conjunction with the exhibition Wide Angle: Photography Out of Bounds.
Recognizing photography’s central role in collage, Wide Angle includes artists who manipulate and recompose imagery to recontextualize narratives drawn from our current social, political, and cultural climate.
These multimedia artists blur the lines between different mediums—challenging the high and low art conventions—and push the boundaries of photography by rearranging, patterning, and dramatically altering images to rewrite the traditional visual language. Through this manipulation, images are forced out of context in often bizarre, subversive, and humorous ways in a translation of the current culture.
Even before the term “collage” was popularized by Picasso and Braque, the method of cut and paste was common throughout art history—a powerful tool to narrate and confront the situational. Collage evolved through Dada and Surrealism, into Pop, and remains a relevant and appropriate medium to navigate the modern day. From traditional handmade photomontage to experimental machine-assisted assemblage, the collage process still offers a unique method of social critique.
Wide Angle includes international artists recognized in the genre alongside artists from the region working with collage-inspired techniques.
Featured Artists: Jimmy Baker, Kathe Burkhart, Harry Callahan, Tom Friedman, Robert Heinecken, John Houck, Mike Jacobs, Sol Lewitt, Goshka Macuga, Rick Mallette, Christian Marclay, Marilyn Minter, Laurel Nakadate, Seth Price, Robert Rauschenberg, Brett Schieszer, Sheida Soleimani, John Stezaker, Sigrid Viir, John Wesley
In this divided era, where world powers openly threaten to unleash enormous nuclear arsenals, Nuclear Fallout: The Bomb in Three Archives excavates the collective memory of the effects and aftermath of nuclear war. This interdisciplinary collaboration re-examines archival slides, photographs, 16mm films, objects, and documents from three markedly different archives: the U.S. National Archives military training films, multimedia materials from the Hiroshima and Nagasaki Memorial Collection of the Wilmington College Peace Resource Center, and the ideologically sanitized exhibits of the National Museum of the United States Air Force, which spotlight Bocks Car—the B-29 bomber that dropped the plutonium Fat Man bomb on Nagasaki, Japan. Embedded in the project are two renowned Japanese-American artists Kei Ito and Migiwa Orimo, working within the three archives to create installations responding to the conceptual “scotomas,” gaps, blurrings, and erasures that exist in our faded recollections of these events in history. Through this collaboration, Nuclear Fallout asks its audiences to critically consider the way war is curated in our cultural telling—asking who creates the narrative, whose stories are missing, and who is no longer alive to tell it.
Nuclear Fallout is organized by Jennifer Wenker, curator and creative director of the Herndon Gallery at Antioch College; Tanya Maus (Ph.D., Japanese History), director of the Peace Resource Center; Migiwa Orimo, four-time recipient of the OAC Individual Excellence Award; Charles Fairbanks, Guggenheim fellow, award-winning filmmaker, and Assistant Professor of Media Art at Antioch College; and the students critically engaged in collaboration with these academic mentors.
People Younger Than Me Explaining How To Do Things began in 2013 as a project with images sourced from YouTube clips featuring teens and young adults setting us straight with their version of “how-to” videos: anything from creating more cleavage, hair and makeup tutorials, to advice on relationships and confidence building. Jenny Odell’s art practice often involves encounters with archives or the creation of new ones that come together at the intersection of research and aesthetics. Odell’s work is a general argument for the rewards of close observation as a way to participate in one’s physical environment.
Jenny Odell is a multidisciplinary artist and writer based in Oakland, California.
Whitney Hubbs uses non-traditional portraiture to address representation of the female body. She photographs other women, as stand-ins for herself, in awkward and physically uncomfortable positions—domestic figures with textiles or green cleaning gloves combined with poses of the objectified female body from both art history and popular culture. Hubbs references headless busts from global antiquity and mannequins from department stores while asserting control over how a woman’s body is seen.
Within the archive of female bodies throughout art history, men have been the dictators. A scolding of modern photography’s use of objectified women was the inspiration for Body Doubles. Hubbs directly responds to Edward Weston’s nude images of his wife, with the word “woman” and a number, referencing Willem de Kooning’s “Woman I” and “Woman II,” which notoriously render a woman’s single breast larger than her head. Carol Duncan’s 1989 article “MOMA’s Hot Mommas” from Art Journal, says of “Woman I:” “de Kooning knowingly and assertively exercises his patriarchal privilege of objectifying male sexual fantasy as high culture.” Hubbs reclaims ownership of the female figure. She challenges the male gaze and subverts tradition by directing the viewer to a woman’s response to art historical poses and representations of the body.
Replace with Fine Art is a show of contemporary Chinese and Chinese American artists titled after a 1917 quote, “Replace Religion with Fine Art” from Cai Yuanpei, a Chinese philosopher and historian. Associate Professor of Studio Arts Emily Hanako Momohara has curated works from Chen Wei, Liu Bolin, Chen Qiulin, Jen Liu, and Ren Hang that comment on their contemporary lives, heritage, and China’s modernization.
“Replace Religion with Fine Art” as an idea declared that aesthetics and art practice were equal in importance to religion and morality. Decades after Yuanpei’s assertion in 1966, the Cultural Revolution would challenge the value of the arts with Mao’s The Little Red Book, stating: “There is in fact no such thing as art for art’s sake,” claiming that art was propaganda and therefore banning any non-state-sanctioned artworks. Fast forward 30 years: China has become a powerhouse of lens-based fine arts, entering the global art market and giving voice to young artists. Its economic and social modernization was swift and powerful. Chinese artists look back at China’s modern creatives like Yu Dafu who critically analyzed love of country and individuality. Today, a view of China mediated by Chinese and diaspora artists, like those represented in Replace with Fine Art, has emerged to give us insight into China’s formerly veiled society.
Featured Artists: Chen Wei, Liu Bolin, Chen Qiulin, Jen Liu, Ren Hang
Art Beyond Boundaries, currently the longest-running fine art gallery in Over-The-Rhine, presents Down Here On The Ground, a documentary exhibition inspired by the rich tradition of street photography—a dynamic component of documentary photo archives.
Down Here on the Ground is a select group show highlighting the everyday life of our local community. The artists have documented moments from their personal experience and environments. The roster of artists is diverse and includes professionals, serious amateurs, and enthusiastic novice photographers working, practicing, and learning their craft in and around Cincinnati. This exhibition is in collaboration with Fly Over Country, on view at Xavier University Art Gallery at the A.B. Cohen Center during the FotoFocus Biennial.
Featured Artists: Ann Segal, Melvin Grier, Jymi Bolden, Bob Flishel, Deogracias Lerma, Ainsley Kellar, Brad Smith, Jon Valin, Mike Mitchell, Larry Pytlinski, Jane Ruwet Hopson, Stacey Dolen, Rebecca Freimuth, Dave Klempton, Billy Bach, Tim Howard, Annette Hughes
The Hope Narrative: Finding Resilience in Contemporary Photography and Family Photo Archives is the signature exhibition at REFUGE, which redefines the waiting room experience of the Health Hub. Artist Emily Hanako Momohara worked with a team of youth apprentices to make artwork for and about the community at Academy of World Languages and its new adjacent Health Hub. This artwork creates a welcoming, safe, and community-reflective atmosphere for clients and patients in the lobby and hallway areas, with a public component on view in Washington Park.
The inspiration for each of the works comes from interviews and personal artifacts from Academy of World Languages families and Evanston residents. Momohara and the apprentices interviewed families representing the diverse backgrounds and familial structures of future Health Hub clients. Their stories of cultural activities and wellness practices; family photos; and heirlooms are used to create the artworks through collage. There are multiple photo collage pieces representing the interviewed families’ unique stories of how they spent time together, particularly outdoors, which highlight the similarities and connections between families. These pieces are a combination of photography, collage, and textiles specific to the community’s stories. The artworks are for, and inspired by, the community, designed to break down barriers and increase cultural connections.
The works created for the REFUGE waiting room and corridors will be displayed publicly to raise awareness about the Health Hub and break down barriers to cultural connection. In partnership with the exhibition at the Health Hub, Emily Hanako Momohara and six ArtWorks Apprentices created photo collages through collaboration with refugee families in the Evanston and Walnut Hills neighborhoods that are on display within the new Health Hub, next to the Academy of World Languages in Evanston. The public component in Washington Park makes the work accessible to a wider audience and opens up conversations about family histories, cultural connections, and our universal similarities.
In #cloudingjudgements, Joel Armor examines his personal collection of cell phone photos and calls on individuals from the surrounding community to examine their own. Armor analyzes the impact that photographic accessibility and infinite storage archives have on each of us, as we repeatedly point and shoot with our phones. Through a variety of outreach programs that include a lecture on memory and mindfulness, a technology detox workshop, and a community-based catalog, participants are asked to consider the effects that these tools impart on our daily psyche, relationships, and personal memory. Armor extends the question into the often invisible and endless archival cloud-based storage system, and the consequences it places on our mental and emotional well-being, as we reconcile the role of hierarchy and space through what he describes as mental hoarding.
BasketShop Gallery presents the work of Chivas Clem. After more than a decade living in New York, where he garnered international esteem as a multi-media artist, Clem moved back to his hometown of Paris, Texas. While documenting a bookstore in the small town, he befriended many of the transient men residing there and started to form an emotional bond with them. He describes them as “…drifting through life on the fringes. They represent a kind of rugged masculinity that is connected to the myths of the American West—but what were once ‘cowboys’ have mutated into ‘rednecks’—used in the pejorative to describe a certain kind of hyper-masculine terror. It connotes racism and homophobia: a scene of jacked-up trucks covered in confederate flags.” Clem says, “I grew up gay in this place—small town, deep south—and these were the kinds of men that made my life miserable. Now they are the only people I relate to, as they are outsiders themselves. I can now reconcile the twin feelings of desire and fear that gave them so much psychic power in my youth.”
Clem’s focus is on documenting the environment around this maligned subgroup of Americans—disenfranchised, heterosexual, white men. Through their own hubris, they have had to sustain a type of social armor from a heritage that is too complex to serve them. Clem’s photography searches beyond the guarding that these men endure and adorns them with an intimate portrayal of their frailties.
As a Cincinnati Post photographer for 33 years, Melvin Grier traveled the world shooting award-winning photos of news, events, sports, and personalities. What many people don’t know is that Grier has a secret passion for fashion photography.
Cincinnati’s style scene during the 1980s and 1990s is the subject of Clothes Encounter, a retrospective of Grier’s personal fashion photos. His interest in fashion was spurred by magazines like Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. “I started looking at the photos, then at the photographers—David Bailey, Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton,” says Grier.
Inspired by these icons, Grier worked with Post reporter Mary Linn White to create fashion layouts, often in unconventional locations like the roof of Union Terminal or the middle of Cincinnati’s Fourth Street. Grier explains: “It was a simple process. We never had an art director, thank God. We never asked permission to shoot somewhere—we just did it.”
The opportunity to create a photo, versus taking a photo, is the reason Grier loves fashion. “It’s not like shooting a baseball game or a fire, where you take it as it comes. With fashion, you can control what you want to show to the public.”
Grier’s photos have been featured in national magazines and have won ten awards from the Society for Professional Journalists, as well as accolades from Cincinnati Magazine and numerous press associations. His work has appeared in dozens of exhibitions and he was named Duncanson Artist-in-Residence at the Taft Museum of Art in 2004.
Brazee Street Studios and Cincinnati Country Day present an exhibit of glass photography in the Brazee Gallery. Higher-level art students at Cincinnati Country Day use unique image-transfer techniques to create fused-glass compositions, blurring the line between these two disparate mediums. These photography students look at their images in a new way, discovering techniques to add depth and conceptual meaning through the addition of glass components.
Featured Artists: TBA
As a part of New York’s blossoming art community in the early 1960s, Peter Moore (1932–1993) began what was to become an unmatched photographic archive of the defiance and spirit of the era’s Fluxus, Judson Dance Theater, and countless other happenings and performances. Moore’s work documents that heated moment in the art world when experimental performance, music, dance, and visual art intersected in radical and transformative ways.
Among the most radical were those staged by female artists, poetically preserved through Moore’s thoughtful eye. His photographs are often the sole visual records of the ephemeral events choreographed by artists like Charlotte Moorman, Lucinda Childs, Simone Forti, Anna Halprin, Deborah Hay, Joan Jonas, Alison Knowles, Yoko Ono, Yvonne Rainer, and Jackie Winsor.
Forty years later, Carl Solway Gallery presents Moore’s photographs as a pivotal historical recollection of the artists at the forefront of avant-garde experimentation during the late ’60s. Selected from his archive of more than a half-million photographs, this show presents iconic images of Charlotte Moorman, Nam June Paik, and Yoko Ono. Conceived in collaboration with Barbara Moore, the show includes black and white as well as color photographs.
First appearing on earth in 2012, the Forealism Tribe hails from another dimension. This group of inter-dimensional travelers are tourists of earth and observers of the human condition. Functioning as quasi-anthropologists, they travel earth to seek out, discover, view, participate in, and learn from human activities, rituals, events, and environments. Throughout their existence, the Forealisms and the humans that they have befriended have documented their travels, appearances, and adventures in both photographs and video.
For the first time anywhere in the universe, The Forealism Files presents their collected documents and artifacts in an anthropological museum display that includes large-format “portrait” photographs of key characters; a selection of images documenting interactions and performances; edited video footage of Forealism activities; rotating displays of the character suits; live performances; and lectures.
Forealisms have visited and documented Documenta 14, Kassel, Germany; Skulptur Projekte, Münster, Germany; Art Basel, Miami Beach 2016; Houston, Texas; St. Louis, Missouri; numerous locations around Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky; and other locations in and outside the galaxy.
The Cincinnati Art Museum presents the region’s first major exhibition featuring the British conceptual artist Gillian Wearing, whose work is widely regarded as being among the most significant artistic statements of our time. Since her emergence in the London art scene of the 1990s, Wearing has taken as her subject nothing less than the experience of being human. Her photographs, videos, and sculptures illuminate unspoken dimensions of our most common relationships and acts, shedding light on the ways we inhabit personae and expose or conceal interior thoughts and desires. Life: Gillian Wearing includes a concise selection of the artist’s iconic lens-based works along with three new projects receiving their world premiere in Cincinnati.
Wearing, who won the Turner Prize in 1997 and was appointed O.B.E. in 2011 for services to art, is best known for documenting strangers’ thoughts and confessions through film and photography, as well as re-presenting herself as other artists or family members through the use of masks and elaborate staging. The video installations and still photographs on view at the Museum chart new territory in the artist’s engagement with identity, self-revelation, and contemporary media culture, exploring tensions between public and private life, the drive to tell our own secrets and know the secrets of others, and the blurry line between documentation and a constructed point of view.
Photographer Tina Gutierrez and designer Da’Mon Butler collaborate in re-Adorned | Catharsis to explore the cultural memories of their respective Cuban-Appalachian and African-American heritage and experience. This series of studio photographs seeks to reincorporate items and people who have been omitted from traditional art history texts and mainstream fashion, while capturing a cathartic human story reinterpreted with each telling and each viewing.
Alongside the photographs, Butler (whose followers know him as NOMAD3176—“Nomad” being his first name backward and “3176” reflecting his birthdate of March 17, 1966) presents a selection of adornments that translate historical aspects of tribal African ornamentation in found and unexpected materials. A central influence in the design is the landfill—our consumption, the fingerprint of our existence. Butler’s archival re-ordering of materials inspires a cultural memory of ancestral African attire and asks all wearers, particularly African-American men, to re-order their personal archive of experience to transcend the burden of external history and its current consequence. By re-appropriating discarded, found materials into fine art fashion adornments, Butler gives new importance to the items, just as adorning the figure gives an importance to the wearer’s identity and projection of personality.
Gutierrez’s photographs capture the cause and effect relationship between Butler’s adornments and the wearer—combining fashion, movement, and photographic impact to present a dramatic series that, like theater, involves the viewer in the human struggle for identity and understanding. It is through the revelatory presentation of the photographs that together Gutierrez and Butler ask viewers to re-see the materials, re-see people, and re-see their world.
Also On View: View photography and artwork on display for the upcoming production of “1984” by George Orwell, a new play by Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillian. FotoFocus attendees receive a discount on tickets to this production. Visit cincyshakes.com for more information.
Is it possible to create a narrative of a life lived from saved (but long-forgotten) photos, slides, negatives, documents, and objects kept for safekeeping in an old children’s bank—one looking like a miniature safe with a combination lock—the combination for which is lost and must be broken into?
Evidence (of a life lived) presents this “archive” as a series of questions. Do the images, documents, and mementos one saves contain enough information in themselves to construct a narrative of a life lived? Do they contain evidence of the broader picture, the times in which they were created? The place they were created? What do they say about what one saves for an unknown future, and why? Will the viewer find their own meaning in the images and construct a different narrative of a life lived through the anonymous archive presented?
Over the course of a few years, photographer Jens Rosenkrantz has deliberately taken the back roads and compiled an archive of nearly 20,000 images that opens a lens to the country not often revealed. The photographs included in Small Towns and Long Views were taken along the 20,000 miles that Rosenkrantz has traveled since 2014 throughout the American West, the Midwest, New England, the Outer Banks, and the Southeast. Small Towns and Long Views takes the viewer along on the journey with the artist, providing insight into the hidden treasures of the United States through his lens. The Clifton Cultural Arts Center presents the exhibition at The Esquire Theatre–an anchor of the Clifton Gaslight business district and Cincinnati’s premier art-house movie theater. This exhibition, a documentation of Rosenkrantz’s journey across many miles, is a personal archive that marks the time and place of extraordinary travels. What sets these images apart from other travelogues is the quality of the photographs and their representation of routes less traveled–of places not as exposed–allowing the viewer to glean a new perspective and different impression from a particular location.
In celebration of the 30th anniversary of Isaac Julien’s landmark 1989 film Looking for Langston, the Columbus Museum of Art presents an installation of the film alongside a selection of related photographic works. Made at the height of the AIDS epidemic in London and New York, Looking for Langston is composed of archival moving images and original footage that reimagines on the life of poet Langston Hughes and a community of gay artists during the Harlem Renaissance. The film collapses both time and geography, mixing the words of Hughes, James Baldwin, and Essex Hemphill and the sounds of blues, jazz, and 1980s house music.
While some photographic works distill the narrative of the film, others reflect upon its own making and artistic lineages. Julien’s sumptuous monochrome images consciously mine the aesthetics of black and queer histories, from James VanDerZee’s funerary and studio portraits of Harlem residents during the 1920s and 1930s, to George Platt Lynes’s male nudes during the 1930s, to Robert Mapplethorpe’s erotized photographs of black men during the 1980s. Foregrounding black, queer experiences within both an American and international context, the work maintains its urgency today.
Isaac Julien: Looking for Langston will be presented in conjunction with I, Too, Sing America, a major survey exhibition of painting, sculpture, photography, literature, music, and film made in Harlem and beyond during the 1920s and 1930s, including 40 photographs by James VanDerZee.
No Two Alike: Karl Blossfeldt, Francis Bruguière, Thomas Ruff restages the 1929 exhibition of plant photographs by the German sculptor Karl Blossfeldt (1865—1932) and photographs of cut-paper abstractions and multiple exposures by the American photographer, then living in London, Francis Bruguière (1879—1945). The exhibition, held at the Warren Gallery in London, celebrated the launch of their two books Art Forms in Nature and Beyond This Point. A surprising pair, Blossfeldt and Bruguière intrigued critics as being “quite different from the usual run of photographic shows.” No Two Alike reunites these two important modernist photographers for the first time since the legendary exhibition and juxtaposes their work with the Photograms and Negatives series by the German contemporary artist, Thomas Ruff (b. 1958), whose interest in and reaction to the history of photography has formed the background for many of his series. Ruff appropriates six of Blossfeldt’s plant motifs in his Negatives series. By comparing the work of these three photographers, emphasis is placed on a common interest in the variant, which Walter Benjamin once described as the creative principle behind Blossfeldt’s close-ups of plants. Bruguière, too, was working through infinite variations in his photographic abstractions. Like his historic counterparts, Ruff has always worked in series and variants, and in this instance presents variations of themes originally explored by Blossfeldt and Bruguière. The encounter of these three artists makes the similarities and subtle differences within their own bodies of work visible, but it also presents each of the three artists’ oeuvre as a variation of the other.
This exhibition is organized in collaboration with the Ann and Jürgen Wilde Foundation, Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich.
No Two Alike: Karl Blossfeldt, Francis Bruguière, Thomas Ruff (Verlag für moderne Kunst) is published on the occasion of the FotoFocus Biennial 2018 and the exhibition at the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati.
Acclaimed Lebanese artist Akram Zaatari combines the roles of image-maker, archivist, curator, filmmaker, and critical theorist to explore the performative role photography plays in fashioning identity. As one of a handful of young artists who emerged from fifteen years of civil war and a short-lived era of experimentation in Lebanon’s television industry, his work demonstrates an enduring appreciation for amateur, journalistic, and commercial photographic practices. Zaatari is also a co-founder of the Arab Image Foundation (AIF), an organization established in Beirut to preserve, study, and exhibit photographs from the Middle East, North Africa, and the Arab diaspora from the 19th-century to today. Within this endeavor Zaatari discovered the photographs of Hashem El Madani (1928–2017), who recorded the lives of everyday individuals inside and outside his humble Saida studio in the late 1940s and 1950s. These photos are deceptively factual in appearance, sliding between demure documentation and revealing displays of subconscious desire that exceed the capacity of the lens.
In an interdisciplinary practice that thereby positions lens-based media as both specimen and subterfuge, Zaatari participates in the discourse against photography and its complex archival legacy. For this exhibition he positions the seemingly simple fold as a narrative form, a reorganization, an enduring obfuscation, and the memory of material. In his words, “a photograph captures space and folds it into a flat image, turning parts of a scene against others, covering them entirely. Every photograph hides parts to reveal others… What a photograph missed and that was present at the time of exposure will remain inaccessible. In those folds lies a history, many histories.” The work on display will attempt to uncover and imagine these stories, undertaking a provocative archaeology that peers into the fissures, scratches, erosion, and that which archives previously shed. Surveying the fertile interstices, Zaatari explains, “Unfolding is undoing, deconstructing, turning material back to its initial form.”
Painters often draw from existing visual materials, such as photographs and reproductions of past works of art, to inspire and construct their work. Swedish artist Mamma Andersson (born 1962)—known for her dreamlike, faintly narrative compositions inspired by Nordic painting, folk art, newspaper photographs, and cinema—is no exception.
But Andersson takes this process a step or two further, importing images of stacks of books and stray photographs, clipped from various sources, directly into her painted compositions. With careful observation, Andersson’s dreamy landscapes and interiors (often combined) slowly come to reveal common imagery and accumulated biblio-ephemera filtered through, and sharing space with, the artist’s muted palette, melancholic scenery, and textural paint. Mamma Andersson: Memory Banks focuses on this aspect of Andersson’s painting practice, exploring how her use of appropriated imagery and collaged elements charges her paintings with an eerie, uncanny sense of familiarity while indulging in wholehearted fantasy and suggestive narrative.
Karin Mamma Andersson was born in 1962 in Luleå, Sweden. She studied at the Royal College of Fine Arts in Stockholm, where she continues to live and work. Solo exhibitions of her work have been presented at Museum Haus Esters in Krefeld, Germany; the Aspen Art Museum; and the Moderna Museet, Stockholm. In 2003, she represented the Nordic Pavilion in the 50th Venice Biennale. In addition to Memory Banks, she is the 2018 recipient of the Guerlain Drawing Prize, Paris, and a participant in the 33rd Bienal de São Paulo.
Mamma Andersson: Memory Banks (Damiani) is published on the occasion of the FotoFocus Biennial 2018 and Andersson’s exhibition at the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati.
Opening Celebrations are free to the public.
|7pm||Conversation: Akram Zaatari: The Fold – Space, time and the image
Conversation with Akram Zaatari, Artist and Co-Founder of the Arab Image Foundation, Beirut, Lebanon; and Eva Respini, Barbara Lee Chief Curator of The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA
Introduction by Steven Matijcio, FotoFocus Guest Curator and Contemporary Arts Center Curator, Cincinnati, OH
|8pm||Opening Celebrations for Akram Zaatari: The Fold – Space, time and the image; Mamma Andersson: Memory Banks; and No Two Alike: Karl Blossfeldt, Francis Bruguière, Thomas Ruff|
Raquel André is a collector of rare things. In Lisbon, Ponta Delgada, Rio de Janeiro, Loulé, Minde, Paredes de Coura, Sever do Vouga, Ovar, Manaus, and Barreiro, she has collected content from close to 150 encounters. People of all nationalities, genders, and ages have accepted the invitation to meet her at someone’s flat for an hour to construct a fictional intimacy to be captured in memory and photographs. The photographs and details of these encounters are the contents of a performance that tells a story about what this collection of relationships may mean. Just what are we looking for when we meet someone? In the age of e-mail, Facebook, Instagram, Tinder, and Grinder, we have all become experts at faking intimacy. We post what we eat, who we kiss, where we go, what we’re thinking and reading, what we like and dislike—all translated into views, likes, and comments. Raquel’s collection is the results of an obsessive fascination with the terabytes of information that exist in each minuscule movement of another person. It is a reflection on intimacy that is explored one-to-one and amplified for the stage, all real and all fake. Each time the door opens for a new lover, Raquel André dives into an abyss that is the other, and reality and fiction merge. Each encounter is real. The flirtation is real. The intimacy may feel more real than fiction. And Raquel, the obsessive collector, holds on to the moments of each meeting, the rare objects of her peculiar collection, ephemeral and infinite.
Collection of Lovers first premiered in 2015 at the studio theater of the D.Maria II National Theater in Lisbon (Portugal) in co-production with TEMPO Arts Festival in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).
Finding Kenyon Barr: Exploring Photographs of Cincinnati’s Lost Lower West End features photos from Cincinnati Museum Center’s Kenyon Barr Collection, taken in 1959 by the City of Cincinnati to document structures slated for demolition as part of the Kenyon Barr Urban Redevelopment Project.
The Kenyon Barr project grew out of Cincinnati’s 1948 Metropolitan Masterplan which called for the creation of a center for light industry in the lower portion of the West End. When Federal Urban Renewal dollars became available in the late 1950s, the city put the plan into action and began acquiring more than 2,000 structures. Once demolished, the land where the buildings and streets of the lower West End once stood was resold to private developers to create the neighborhood known today as Queensgate. The residents displaced from these buildings were 97% African American and largely low-income. The 40 photos featured in Finding Kenyon Barr illustrate the vitality of the neighborhood, featuring landmark architecture, booming businesses, active street life, and vibrant community institutions.
The exhibit is the creation of urban historian, Anne Delano Steinert, who hopes the exhibit will educate Cincinnatians about the mass demolition and displacement caused by the Kenyon Barr project. “The demolition of this entire vital neighborhood is such an unfortunate moment in Cincinnati’s history,” says Steinert. In addition to the historic photographs, the exhibit features maps and modern-day photos to enhance viewers’ understanding of the neighborhood.
Please note that the exhibition dates for Finding Kenyon Barr are September 13 – October 23, 2018, which have been updated since the printing of the FotoFocus catalogue and map.
Artists Lorena Molina, Gina Osterloh, and Carman Winant form the foundation for this group show that portrays the female experience though photographs, videos, film, and performance.
Capturing and Archiving the Female Experience also includes a reading room with the latest and most respected photography publications, specifically focused on books about photography by and of women that convey the feminine experience in either the past or the present as part of the exhibition. Active programming in the space such as coffee and tea service and artist and student-led discussion groups are important to the exhibition’s impact and meaning. Conversations and connections made in real time are an essential component of the exhibition. At the close of the exhibition, the reading room materials will become part of the permanent collection of the UC DAAP Library, and will be a valuable resource for the faculty, students and community members.
Mickalene Thomas challenges current standards and asserts new definitions of beauty and inspiration through her groundbreaking photographs in Muse: Mickalene Thomas Photographs and companion exhibition, tête-à-tête. Identifying photography as a touchstone for her practice, much of her work functions as an act of deconstruction and appropriation—she draws inspiration widely, borrowing various visual motifs including 1970s black-is-beautiful imagery, 19th-century French painting, and 20th-century studio portraiture.
Equally important, the photographs presented reflect a personal community of inspiration—a collection of muses that includes Thomas herself and her mother, friends, and lovers. These muses emphasize the communal and social aspects of art-making and creativity that pervade her work. Nearly 50 artworks are highlighted in Muse, including a three-dimensional tableau reminiscent of a seventies-era domestic space, replicating the studio installation where Thomas and her models collaborate.
Communities of inspiration are further highlighted in tête-à-tête, an exhibition curated by Thomas. This mini-exhibition within the larger Muse show includes works by ten artists that have inspired Thomas. Placed consciously in dialogue with her own work, these artists contend with many of the same themes central to Thomas’ practice.
Together, these exhibitions create a robust visual conversation about representation of the black body in today’s society and provide opportunities for guests to reflect on how various forms of visual culture help shape their own identities and how they, too, collect and process information.
Exhibition is organized by Aperture Foundation, New York.
The idea of communities of inspiration is highlighted in tête-à-tête, an exhibition curated by artist Mickalene Thomas. Serving as a companion exhibition to Muse: Mickalene Thomas Photographs, this mini exhibition within the larger Muse show includes works that have inspired Thomas. Placed consciously in dialogue with her own practice, these artworks contain many of the same themes central to Thomas’ works, such as references to motherhood and family.
The 10 featured artists—from older generations of artists to those who are part of Thomas’s generation or younger—include Derrick Adams, Renée Cox, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Lyle Ashton Harris, Deana Lawson, Zanele Muholi, Malick Sidibé, Xaviera Simmons, Hank Willis Thomas, and Carrie Mae Weems.
Together, these exhibitions create a robust visual conversation about representation of the black body in today’s society and provide opportunities for visitors to reflect on how various forms of visual culture help shape their own identities and how they, too, collect and process information.
Both exhibitions acknowledge the art-historical canon and popular visual culture, while simultaneously creating an archive of artworks that stand in opposition to the traditions, reclaiming agency for both the artists and the subjects depicted.
Exhibition is organized by Aperture Foundation, New York.
Joel Whitaker explores the transitory nature of experiences with a body of work inspired by a series of tornados that moved through the American South, several years ago, in a single day. Whitaker’s connection to this place and the event is peripheral, but nonetheless powerful. As a result of these storms, and the realization that this was an event witnessed and not experienced, he set out to make not a literal document of the damage, but rather, photographs that explore the idea of losing things—the transitory nature of all things. In the resulting photographs, the presumed narrative qualities, or the anecdotal aspects of the photographs, do not interest Whitaker but more the “picture” qualities, the poetic, and the open-ended gray areas of significance in the photographs—the space between recognition and acceptance.
A series of abstract, color-driven photographs and micro-videos by Joshua Kessler serve as a meditation on how technology has so fundamentally changed the way that we consume and experience imagery. Since the first recorded image ever taken by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce in 1826, the basic elements of photography have not changed. In its most reductive form, photography is a study of light, shadow, and shape. What has evolved is how we view the resulting images, whether they are daguerreotypes nestled in a velvet box, framed salt prints, or, most recently, pixels on a screen. Frame Rate is a meditation on the pure joy of experiencing light, shadow, and shape while commenting on the way we encounter imagery today—whether it be a single-framed photograph, an Instagram-style grid, the liquid flow of a Facebook feed, or snappy micro-videos. The essential DNA of image-making has stayed the same, but the volume and speed with which we consume it has changed.
Taking it to the Streets features large-scale photographic prints custom-made to fit windows and doorways in the Central Business District. The prints visible from the sidewalk and on display 24/7 feature street photography by J. Miles Wolf. Some are images from Cincinnati’s most celebrated events such as the Findlay Market Parade, BLINK, Oktoberfest, and Taste of Cincinnati, with additional works produced specifically for FotoFocus 2018. Wolf has been photographing major events and changes in Cincinnati over the past 40 years.
This public art display is a collaboration between Downtown Cincinnati Inc. and photographer J. Miles Wolf.
Downtown Cincinnati Locations:
The present seems to flow ceaselessly through the tiny sliver of memory nature allotted us—memories we try to hold onto (if only for a moment) in their vast immensity. It is this ineptness of memory, the apparent smallness of it, that has motivated people throughout history to try and capture it with more permanent and capable mediums. We attempt to hold on to the artifacts of experience by inscribing them on everything around us—on cave walls, stone tablets, animal hides, trees, electrical currents, even the binary spins of electrons themselves.
In Place of Forgetting is an interactive multi-channel audio-visual installation exploring the contemporary overabundance of memory and its impact on the quality of the experiences we attempt to remember. With each repost, recontextualization, reiteration, or translation, a connection to the original moment is further obscured. Viewers traverse this sense of iterative loss through their physical interactions, shaping their experience by sifting through and reassembling text and images sourced from an archive of historical Cincinnati postcards collected by Mark Rohling, Senior Exhibition Designer/Chief Preparator at the Taft Museum of Art. By influencing which fragments of the audio archive are amplified through their action, the visitors evoke new and unique relationships between them, continuously transforming their context. One box tells a story, while its companions speak in counterpoint and a pair on the side hold a conversation. A trio sing in harmony together, their voices echoing the marks of handwriting scribed on the back of each postcard.
Intermedio also presents Mid-Day Ghost, a collaborative composition combining spoken word, stories, and experimental vocal sounds with interactive multichannel audio, performed by multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Jennifer Simone and saxophonist Om Srivastava. Through interactions with the installation In Place of Forgetting, Mid-Day Ghost explores the ephemerality of our contemporary experiences and how they are shaped by memories of the past—what we keep and what we leave behind.
Performances on Saturday at 1pm and Sunday at 3:30pm.
Dancing in the Street is a collaborative project with Camp Washington residents that transforms an empty lot next to Gallery Askew into a life-sized community mural. This sixty-foot-long photograph spans the entire width between two buildings to create an outdoor gallery. Life-size photograms and photographs of children from the neighborhood, captured in the movement of dance, are printed sequentially to create a mural of movement.
Camp Washington is both a residential neighborhood and a vibrant center for visual art with artist studios and arts organizations. This project celebrates both the residential nature of the community, by engaging the neighborhood children in the art making, and the continuing renaissance of artistic activity in the area. Photographic documentation of the art-making and collaborative process is incorporated in the project.
Featured Artist: Natalie M. Mancino
Transitions is based on the Surrealist Game “Exquisite Corps” and features 20 local photographers creating one collaborative work of art. The process is simple: the first photographer creates a photo, the second photographer sees only the right side of that first photo and creates a work in response, the third photographer sees only the right side of the second photo and responds by creating yet another photograph. This process continues with the next seventeen photographers, each only seeing the right half of the previous image. All the photographs are then printed sequentially in one long mural and hung in the gallery, revealed as a single collaborative work of art.
Featured Artists: Paige Widman, Bryn Weller, Paul Grilli, J. Miles Wolf, Tina Gutierrez, Suz Fleming, Tom Uhlman, Helen Adams, Lisa Britton, Melvin Grier, Celene Hawkins, Irvin Madsen, Linda Gillings, Kent Krugh, Anita Douthat, Cal Kowal, Jonathan Gibson, Brad Austin Smith, Natalie Mancino, Erika Nj Allen
For the first time in their lives, 20 Holmes Middle School students held cameras in their hands. The team at i.imagine worked with students throughout the 2017—2018 school year to teach the art of photography, the fundamentals of exposure, and how to apply those concepts inspired by the work of photographers featured in the FotoFocus Biennial 2018. Through photography walks, sharing family photos, and field trips, students evolved as artists with new perspectives on the world around them. Program founder Shannon Eggleston and teaching assistant Claire Brose empowered students to work with the joys and struggles of being a teenager in today’s world and to connect emotionally, bringing deeper purpose and meaning to each photograph. Holmes Middle School students and their experiences are celebrated uniquely, as each young photographer’s work is printed on a tile and composed into a permanent art mural in Covington, Kentucky, as a symbol of the beauty represented in their neighborhood and its people.
2018 marks the 10th anniversary of Iris Bookcafé and Gallery’s presentation of exceptional photography by local, regional, and international artists and offers an opportunity not only to remember but to construct a heretofore non-existent archive. Over the past ten years, the exhibitions curated by William Messer represent the work of artists working as far away as China, Mongolia, Korea, India, and Ethiopia, and more than a dozen countries across Europe—and closer to home in Mexico, South Dakota, Kansas, New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, across the US West and Midwest, including regional photographers from Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, Akron, Lexington, Detroit, Kalamazoo, ranging in age from 20 to 70 years old. Many are nationally and internationally respected artists, with numerous published books of their work, while some were new emerging artists. Re-membering an Archive: Iris at 10 features work by many of the artists Iris has exhibited over the last decade and will remain a testament to the mark that Iris has had on the photography community.
Invited Artists: Lars Anderson, Darryl Baird, Achinto Bhardra, Mark Cohen, Bill Davis, Rachel Elliott, Tim Freeman, John Ganis, Carey Gough, Lloyd Greene, Tina Gutierrez, Diana Duncan Holmes, Steve Hotard, Hana Jakrlová, Paul Kohl, Kent Krugh, Ji Hyun Kwon, Pok Chi Lau, Maurice Mattei, Guy Mendes, William Messer, Ardine Nelson, Harvey Osterhoudt, Bernard Plossu, William Renschler, Emily Schiffer, Gordon Smith, Tim Stegmaier, Marc Suda, Danielle Voirin, Sean Wilkinson, Michael Wilson, Matthew Zory
Spanning 35 years in the career of acclaimed photographer Wing Young Huie, We are the Other collectively reflects the cultural complexities of American society. While his work has been shown in international museums—more than half a million people have viewed his traveling exhibit in China—his most well-known projects, Lake Street USA and University Avenue Project, transformed the Twin Cities thoroughfares into six-mile photo-galleries that reflected the everyday lives of thousands of people. Although much of his work has been focused on his home state of Minnesota, it includes photographs from around the United States and China. Nearly every one of the thousands of people he’s photographed is a stranger, but in many cases he interviews and documents their conversations, which are then displayed alongside their portraits.
When Wing Young Huie started as a documentary photographer, his goal was to make what he thought was a good photograph: the photograph as an aesthetic object. But the interactive process emerged as an important factor, if not more important than the resulting photograph. A photograph, no matter how good, is still just a surface description.
How then to create an image that goes below the surface to reveal the relational aspects of photographing strangers? Wing Young Huie has employed a variety of concepts to expand his documentary instincts: having people write revealing statements on chalkboards, introducing neighbors who don’t know each other to each other and photographing them collectively in each other’s places, and wearing the clothes of Chinese men whose lives he could’ve had, blurring the boundary between photographer and subject.
Out of the Stacks explores how photographs and images are organized and the exceptional narratives and histories that they impart. Using the Lloyd’s collection, artists conducted research and utilized photographs and photographic materials to create new art books. The Lloyd Library and Museum’s collection provided inspiration for the Cincinnati Book Arts Society artists to conceptualize new artistic designs and formats—to exercise artistic freedom to form collages, montages, and sculptures using photographic mediums and resources. Out of the Stacks examines how photo archives are specific to the modern period in human history, and how the proliferation of photography has become a significant reference point to modern art in all mediums.
The Lloyd Library and Museum has a long history of utilizing photographs in the scientific study of mycology through the work of one of its founders, Curtis Gates Lloyd. Photography became an essential tool in his quest to document mycological specimens for scientific study. Lloyd’s pioneering scientific photography forms the majority of the National Fungus Collection held by the United States Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. The Lloyd Library is an independent research library devoted to bringing science, art, and history to life serving as an inspiration to scientists, historians, and artists.
Also on view: A Year on the Edge: A photographic narrative of the Edge of Appalachia Preserve
The Lloyd Library partnered with two photographers, TJ Vissing and Rick Conner, to fill their gallery with nature photographs that focus on the Edge of Appalachia preserve in Adams County.
ARCHIVE [photo] brings together works of photographic and lens-based art that in one way or another, literally or figuratively, represents the concept of archive. As an accumulation of records or the place they are located, archives contain primary source documents that have accumulated over the course of an individual or organization’s lifetime and are kept (or presented) to show the function of that person or organization. Manifest’s mission, as a nonprofit entity, is to function as an organizational archive of the artwork and artists’ histories it presents and interacts with. This juried exhibition, along with the other exhibitions on view at Manifest, provides a comparison between photo and non-photo approaches and inspires consideration of the role of visual art in the process of housing, presenting, and preserving primary source information—and of one’s part in the process of interpreting or feeding into the archive.
Featured Artists: Mike Callaghan, Alyse Delaney, Karen Hillier, Jieun Beth Kim, David Knox, Kent Krugh, Isabella La Rocca, William Nourse, Vesna Pavlovic, Crystal Tursich, Jenny Zeller
Also on view: Four additional exhibitions on view during the FotoFocus 2018 Biennial at Manifest Creative Research Gallery. Three solo photography shows and one ARCHIVE (non photo) themed show. The Photo Solo exhibitions will include works by Wes Battoclette, Greg Sand, and Dominic Lippillo.
The ARCHIVE [negative] project includes the work of roughly a dozen regional and/or national photographers selected by Manifest Resident Instructor and Photographer Michael Wilson. Public demonstration days led up to the exhibition allowing the public to observe and interact with Wilson in a laboratory-like collaboration. Wilson worked with the negatives provided by each participating photographer and printed them in the Manifest darkroom.
Featured Artists: Matthew Albritton, Barry Andersen, Gordon Baer, Maureen France, Melvin Grier, Barbara Houghton, Cal Kowal, Guennadi Maslov, Maurice Mattei, Nancy Rexroth, Gregory Rust, Brad Smith, Jane Alden Stevens, Connie Sullivan
Archives contain precious artifacts of the past, but even in the contemporary digital age we are fascinated with the nature of the physical object. We find pleasure in the tactile and enduring feel of the artifacts—photographs, prints, and books created by those before us. “Gathering Kokoro” Orihon Book explores the cross currents of cultural sensibilities from the Japanese homeland of artist Mayako Nakamura and that of Tony DeVarco from the United States.
Recasting digital photos, photomontages, and sketches into a delicate artifact, the collaborative artwork is created in the ancient style of an ‘Orihon’ book (‘ori’ means fold, ‘hon’ book). Paying homage to the ancient Asian tradition of bookmaking as a “folding scroll,” “Gathering Kokoro” is printed in Japanese on one side and English on the other—its pages open up concertina style, featuring a series of DeVarco’s photographs and Nakamura’s sketches printed on delicate mulberry paper.
Archivist and curator Bonnie DeVarco designed the interior of the book to present an unfolding story in the Japanese style of Orihon with folds sewn using the “stabbed” binding technique. As an artwork at once vintage and familiar, the book cover and case of “Gathering Kokoro” are designed and bound by master bookmaker and artist Judith Serling-Sturm and include obi cloth painted by Nakamura. This large-scale artwork, nearly ten feet long, is printed as one long scroll that captures the careful stages of Mayako donning her kimono and the travels of the two artists in June of 2017.
Time, Space, and Place brings forward a selection of photographs from the archives reflecting the experience of diverse artists at different time periods and locations, sharing their personal viewpoints and providing glimpses into the past—preserved slices of life and time, flashes of memory.
Featured Artists: Gordon Baer, John Wimberley, Kojo Kamau, John Chewning, June Archer
Mary Ellen Goeke, FotoFocus Executive Director, and Kevin Moore, FotoFocus Artistic Director and Curator
|11am||Panel: No Two Alike
Moderated by Ulrike Meyer Stump, FotoFocus Guest Curator and Photography Historian and Lecturer in the Knowledge Visualization Program at the Zurich University of the Arts, Switzerland, with panelists: Anne McCauley, David Hunter McAlpin Professor of the History of Photography and Modern Art in the Department of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University, NJ; and Ed Juler, Writer and Lecturer in Art History, Newcastle University, England
Watch the Panel: No Two Alike on Vimeo.
|Noon||Conversation: Memory Banks
Kevin Moore, FotoFocus Artistic Director and Curator, with Karin Mamma Andersson, Artist, Stockholm, Sweden
Watch the Conversation: Memory Banks on Vimeo.
|1pm||Lunch Break and Performance at FotoFocus ArtHub in Washington Park
Mid-Day Ghost by INTERMEDIO
Watch the Performance:Mid-Day Ghost by INTERMEDIO on Vimeo.
|2pm||Panel: Wide Angle
Moderated by Carissa Barnard, FotoFocus Deputy Director of Exhibitions and Programming, with panelists: Jimmy Baker, Artist and Associate Professor and Head of the Painting & Drawing Department at the Art Academy of Cincinnati, OH; Chris Engman, Artist, Los Angeles, CA; Mike Jacobs, Artist, Phoenix, AZ; Sheida Soleimani, Artist and Assistant Professor of Studio Art at Brandeis University, Boston, MA; and Sigrid Viir, Artist, Tallinn, Estonia
Watch the Panel: Wide Angle on Vimeo.
|3pm||Comment by Paul Roth: Open Archive
Paul Roth, Director of Ryerson Image Centre at Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada
Watch the Comment by Paul Roth:Open Archive on Vimeo.
|3:30pm||Panel: From Paris to New York
Moderated by Kevin Moore, FotoFocus Artistic Director and Curator, with panelists: Peter Barberie, Brodsky Curator of Photographs, Alfred Stieglitz Center at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA; and Julia Van Haaften, Writer, Independent Curator, and Founding Curator of the New York Public Library Photo Collection, New York, NY
Watch the Panel: From Paris to New York on Vimeo.
|4:30pm||Symposium Closing Remarks
Carissa Barnard, FotoFocus Deputy Director of Exhibitions and Programming
Vanguard composer and pianist Vijay Iyer and Nigerian-American writer and photographer Teju Cole perform the powerful interdisciplinary collaboration Blind Spot at Cincinnati’s historic Memorial Hall. Cole’s striking photography and spoken words are accompanied by a live score performed by Iyer’s adept trio—Okkyung Lee (cello), Patricia Brennan (vibes and marimba), Stephan Crump (bass)—for a musical investigation of humanity’s voluntary blindness to tragedy and injustice throughout history.
Introduction by Drew Klein, FotoFocus Guest Curator and Contemporary Arts Center Performing Arts Director, Cincinnati, OH
Vanguard composer and pianist Vijay Iyer and Nigerian-American writer and photographer Teju Cole perform the powerful interdisciplinary collaboration Blind Spot at Cincinnati’s historic Memorial Hall. Cole’s striking photography and spoken words are accompanied by a live score performed by Iyer’s adept trio—Okkyung Lee (cello), Patricia Brennan (vibes and marimba), Stephan Crump (bass)—for a musical investigation of humanity’s voluntary blindness to tragedy and injustice throughout history.
|5pm||Performance: Teju Cole and Vijay Iyer: Blind Spot
Introduction by Drew Klein, FotoFocus Guest Curator and Contemporary Arts Center Performing Arts Director, Cincinnati, OH
|Noon||Conversation with Teju Cole: Blind Spot
Drew Klein, FotoFocus Guest Curator and Contemporary Arts Center Performing Arts Director, with Teju Cole, Writer, Art Historian, and Photographer, Brooklyn, NY
Drew Klein, FotoFocus Guest Curator and Contemporary Arts Center Performing Arts Director, Cincinnati, OH; with Teju Cole, Writer, Art Historian, and Photographer, Brooklyn, NY
Teju Cole is a writer, photographer, and the photography critic for the New York Times Magazine. He was born in the US in 1975 to Nigerian parents, and raised in Nigeria.
His most recent book, Blind Spot (June 2017), a genre-crossing work of photography and texts, was shortlisted for the Aperture/Paris Photo Photobook Award and named one of the best books of the year by Time Magazine. He was commissioned by the 2017 Performa Biennial to present a multimedia solo performance piece, Black Paper, which the New York Times acclaimed as “quietly grave” and “thoroughly devastating.”
Teju Cole has contributed to the New York Times, the New Yorker, Granta, Brick, and many other magazines. His photography column at the New York Times Magazine, “On Photography,” was a finalist for a 2016 National Magazine Award. His photography has been exhibited in India, Iceland, Italy, and the US. He has lectured widely, from the Harvard Graduate School of Design to Twitter Headquarters. He gave the 2014 Kenan Distinguished Lecture in Ethics at Duke University, the 2015 Susan D. Gubar Lecture at Indiana University, and the 2016 Spui25 Lecture at the University of Amsterdam. He was awarded the 2015 Windham Campbell Prize for Fiction, and a 2015 US Artists award.
About Blind Spot:
Blind Spot, a book of photographs and texts, was published by Random House (US) and Faber & Faber (UK) in 2017. It was enthusiastically reviewed in the New York Times, the Guardian, the Financial Times, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the New York Review of Books, among others, and was named one of the best books of 2017 by Time Magazine. Blind Spot was shortlisted for the 2017 Aperture/Paris Photo Photobook Awards, and accompanied by exhibitions at the Steven Kasher Gallery and the University of Kentucky Gallery.
Hans Gindlesberger’s series of photographs confronts unfortunate realities of life in small town, post-industrial, Middle America, drawing on his own experiences growing up in Pemberville, Ohio. The title, I’m in the Wrong Film, is a colloquialism often said when one feels out of place and uncomfortable in surroundings both familiar and new. Gindlesberger’s photographs possess a fictitious, surreal quality, constructed through an assemblage of real locations and scenery. His photographs are constructed from locations throughout the United States, particularly the Midwest.
With economic hardship and the decline of industrialism, the identities of many rural Midwest and rustbelt boomtowns throughout the United States became shells of their former selves, even while many areas of the nation prospered. Due to urban sprawl, many of these small towns are facing the encroachment of new housing developments. Little is done in most cases to assist the evolution of the small towns further driving a divide in America. In Gindlesberger’s works, a single figure embodying the everyman appears directionless and impotent amidst his surroundings. This man and his struggles represent the plight of those Americans living in regions plagued by a changing identity.
A Kick in the Head: Uncouth Stories of Sunken Beauty focuses on a disparate group of artists that utilize various photo-based techniques to archive lives lived on the edge, finding dark beauty in unseen and often misunderstood aspects of humanity. Their stories are told through bodies of work that focus on subcultures or obsessions that can only be properly conveyed when a viewer is able to experience a multiplicity of images. These are artists that utilize the photographic medium to express their dissatisfaction, their otherness as obsessives and outsiders, or a fixation on the odd and obscene. The images are evidence of activities, documentation, categorization, and obsession. Invention and reinvention share the stage. Genesis P-Orridge explains the motivation for h/er practice and life: “I’ve been involved in a total war with culture since the day I started…I am at war with the status quo of society, and I am at war with those in control and power. I’m at war with hypocrisy and lies.”
For many of these artists, the publication of their images in book form is a critical aspect of their practice. This allows them to create a narrative through the curation and sequencing of images, as well as ensuring that their story reaches a much wider audience and is preserved as a specific document. Many of these publications are included in the exhibition, and Alternate Project’s concurrent, pop-up bookstore offers a wide variety of rare publications and editions.
Curated by Michael Lowe and George Kurz.
Presented in conjunction with Alternate Projects, Covington
Featured Artists: Vito Acconci, Nobuyoshi Araki, Morton Bartlett, Richard Billingham, Guglielmo Achille Cavellini, Larry Clark, Bob Flanagan, Katy Grannan, Mike Kelley, Richard Kern, Robert Mapplethorpe, Ryan McGinley, Annette Messager, Pierre Molinier, Otto Muehl, Catherine Opie, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Rob Pruitt, Arnulf Rainer, Lucas Samaras, Penny Slinger, Bob Wade, Count Zichy
Dye Transfer: The Eastman Kodak Company ceased production of Pan Matrix Film, which was required to produce a dye transfer print in 1991 and by 1994 the company did away with all other dye transfer materials. Today, the dye transfer process is nearly a lost art. Popularized by famed photographers such as Irving Penn, William Eggleston, and Robert Mapplethorpe, the medium of dye transfer is very different from modern color print processes. Dye transfer is an incredibly detailed and exceptionally difficult process and the degree of skill required to make a successful image is unique to very few photographers working today. Utilizing the exact machine previously-owned and operated by Irving Penn, Tyler Shields uses the dye transfer process to produce an unparalleled colored image that is the absolute finest quality in color printing and attempts to create the largest dye transfer print ever made.
Platinum Palladium: In the late 19th-century, this printing process used palladium rather than silver as the light sensitive material required to develop an image. Ed Weston, Alfred Stieglitz, and Paul Strand were supporters of the technique, but due to the exorbitant material costs, palladium printing fell out of fashion. Tyler uses the palladium printing process to produce unique works that possess incredible depth and beauty. As with his dye transfer prints, Tyler hopes to create the largest palladium photographs ever made with the medium. Tyler’s ambitious work makes immortal the important processes of photography’s past.
Also on view: Interactive Dark Room Installation.
FotoFocus at The Mini: Cinema and Archive is a month-long screening series examining film and video’s complex relationship to the photographic archive. The Mini Microcinema will present over 30 screenings and events, featuring more than 50 makers with programming by five different curators. Ultimately, film and video’s relationship to archive, both on and off the screen, can be examined and interpreted in a variety of ways. In the most traditional sense, cinema is a storytelling mechanism with the power to capture and archive an artist’s ever-changing process. Archival material, both still and moving, can also be used as source material for the construction of new works. Like collage or sound mixing, the use of appropriated media has the ability to create greater meaning through montage, as well as the ability to re-examine and re-interpret the past. Oftentimes, experimental film and media makers use photographic archives as both objects and subjects in their work, which prompts the viewer to consider the similarities and differences between the mediums themselves. Further, the film still is an aspect where film and video calls on its photographic origin, and considers the role of filmmaker as photographer. Animation, specifically stop-motion, underscores the notion of the filmstrip as a photographic archive because the production directly involves snapping photo after photo, slightly changing the content within the frame. Here, the filmmaker literally constructs a moment in time, rather than capturing it, thus animation could represent an archive of a fully constructed reality. The examination of film and media collections are another fascinating way to learn about media’s historical impact in relationship to the socio-political moment in which the archive derives. FotoFocus at The Mini: Cinema and Archive presents a variety of work exploring the many intersections between cinema and the photographic archive worth further thought and examination.
Participants: Stéphane Aubier, Stephanie Barber, Stephanie Barber, Matthew Bauman, Steve Boot, Dr. Svea Braeunert, Dan Browne, Paul Bush, Alberto Couceiro, Studio Creature, Victoria Santa Cruz, Thirza Cuthand, Nazli Dincel, Cheryl Dunn, Paz Encina, Rhiannon Evans, Harun Farocki, Siegfried A. Fruhauf, Kelly Gallagher, Ariana Gerstein, Karø Goldt, Joan C. Gratz, Adriana Vila Guevara, Vanessa Haroutunian, Vashti Harrison, Carrie Hawks, Dr. Todd Herzog, Narcisa Hirsch, Dr. Elisabeth Hodges, Desiree Dawn Kapler, Abbas Kiarostami, Evalds Lacis, Kirsten Lepore, Nicki Lindroth, Jayne Loader, Robert Loebel, Azucena Losana, Guy Maddin, Vincent Patar, Jean-Gabriel Périot, PES, Annalisa D. Quagliata, Kevin Rafferty, Pierce Rafferty, Mónica Savirón, Ann Segal, Shelly Silver, Alejandra Tomei, Hui-ching Tseng, UC Center for Film and Media Studies, Péter Vácz, Carlo Vogele, Spencer Williams, Liz Wolf (dream tiger), C. Jacqueline Wood, Alice Pixley Young
A selection of work from the month-long screening series FotoFocus at The Mini: Cinema and Archive
FotoFocus Guest Curator: C. Jacqueline Wood, The Mini Microcinema Director, Cincinnati, OH
|Noon||pure&magicalpussypower: a documentary on Joanie 4 Jackie (2010)
Directed by Vanessa Haroutunian (40 min)
|1pm||Selections from The Take Over Chainletter
Curated by Kelly Gallagher
|2pm||Selections from Still Processing: Photography and the Moving Image
Curated by C. Jacqueline Wood
|3pm||Through the Lens of Time (2018)
Directed by Ann Segal (20 min)
|3:30pm||momento mori (2012)
Directed by Dan Browne (30 min)
|4pm||Everybody Street (2013)
Directed by Cheryl Dunn (90 min)
Jason Hailey’s passion to increase visual awareness and heighten sensitivity to aesthetic values flows from his abstract interpretations of commonplace products and discarded debris. The dramatic transformations are pioneering works of abstract color photography, aggrandizing the world of fine art photography. With inspiration from our changing environment and society, Hailey’s photographic style stimulates, shocks, and sparks our imaginations for new ideas, change, and progress.
Mount St. Joseph University’s Student Photographic Society juries this thematic group show comprised of work that addresses the discarded debris of our contemporary society.
Featured Artists: Beth Brann, Buffy Barkley, Cathy McDonald, Cassie Pennington, Chrissy May, Craig Lloyd, George Keller, Grace Whitley Oppihle, Greg Hissett, Hanne Driscoll, Jenny Kathmann, John Ballard, John Griffith, Kathy Oliphant, Kathy Ray, Kurt Grannan, Liz Mason, Mark McCafferty, Marlene Lang, Mary Gilliam, Morgan Garrett, Nate Waspe, Susan Lawrence, Velma Dailey
In an increasingly digital era, Record / Off Record emphasizes the importance of the photograph as a tangible object in print form. Record / Off Record investigates the archive with questions about history and how it informs the future of contemporary image-making practices. Record / Off Record means published work (record) and photos taken, but not used (off record) as a product of the act of building a visual archive.
The diverse nature of the exhibition in regard to the personal, educational, and professional background of artists promotes extensive dialogue on the multitude of ways the archive is approached. The exhibiting artists hail from various regions within the United States and possess different personal experiences that contribute to notions of visual data.
There is great uncertainty for what the future may hold and as time progresses, our memories of the past begin to deteriorate. The photograph is a record. It is part of the visual archive on humanity and experience. Without this visual data, it is easy to forget.
Featured Artists: Miranda Barnes, Caiti Borruso, Valerie Bower, Matt Eich, Stacy Kranitz, Melissa Kreider, Kevin O’Meara, Nathan Pearce, Jake Reinhart, Bryan Schutmaat, Jason Vaughn
Founded in 1968 with nearly 1,000 students, Northern Kentucky University has grown into a vital metropolitan university of more than 14,000 students served by more than 2,000 faculty over the past 50 years. This exhibition of 50 photographs from the archives will be displayed alongside work from current students and faculty to celebrate NKU’s history as it looks forward to the next 50 years.
Featured Artists: Barry Andersen, Thomas R. Schiff, Emily Wiethorn, John David Richardson, Annette Crimmins, Makenzie Frank, Briana Collins, The NKU Photography Club
The exhibition is a celebration of residents working to create a greater sense of community in the city of Mason, which has experienced a rapid rise in residents over the past 20 years. A once small and sleepy farm town has morphed into suburban sprawl with more than 30,000 residents. In a place where, not very long ago, everyone knew everyone, there is now a large contingent of people who are transient; residing only for a few years before they move on. As a result, the city struggles to create a sense of community and bridge the line between Old Mason and New Mason. In celebration of those residents striving to build a greater sense of community, local artists were invited to take their portraits. These artists honor those individuals and their contributions to increasing the well-being of the community. The portraits are the backbone of the exhibit, surrounded by photo-booth style images of the greater community. The exhibition is intended to encourage and inspire communication and interaction throughout the community of Mason.
Featured Artists: Tracy Doyle, Chrystal Scanlon, Kim Kalo, William Northern, Tracy Fitch, Jon Williams
Impression is an archive of photos captured during a ten-month long public installation in which participants were invited to sit in front of a mirror, reflect, look into their own eyes, lean in for a kiss, and knowingly be photographed.
The imagery in this collection is an experiment in human nature: showing people in various expressions of joy, disgust, exhibitionism, love, embarrassment, and confusion. Artists Janet Creekmore and Ben Jason Neal use a low-tech HD camera and high-tech, pixel-sensitive software for the project. This conceptual, social-practice work pushes boundaries and tests the limits of what people are willing to do in a public or a private space, evoking a voyeuristic feeling in the viewer, where the documentation of the experience and the photographic results explores ideas of sexuality, gender, self, cultures and identity.
New American Stories features photographs made throughout the fall of 2017 and winter of 2018 by clients of the Refugee Resettlement Program operated by Catholic Charities of Southwest Ohio. Each participant engaged in a short educational program under the direction of Prairie to learn about the western tradition of creating family photo albums, basic digital photography, and the possibilities for creating meaningful family portraits and snapshots. Each participant, from countries as distant as Bhutan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Dominican Republic, produced a body of photographs, then selected a set of images to be printed and included in a blank family album provided by Prairie.
One or two images from each participant, along with a short biographical narrative, is shown in New American Stories and included in the accompanying exhibition catalog. The images and albums created by these new Americans create strong family narratives of life in a foreign but promising land. They illuminate the ongoing global refugee crisis, as well as the enduring power of the American dream: freedom and opportunity.
Featured Artists: Yanitza Rosa-Martinez, Amrita Rai, Nandi Rai, Mangali Rai, Bhim Oli, Bhim Magar, Karna Rai, Wilton Compres, Mowazo Bembereza, Christine Bawili
Experience Cincinnati’s past through the literal lens of photographic advancement. From daguerreotype to the world’s best camera today, journey to see where 170 years has taken us. On September 24, 1848 Charles Fontayne and William S. Porter—using one of the earliest forms of photography, daguerreotype—photographed Cincinnati from atop a building in Newport, Kentucky, creating a sweeping, eight-plate panorama. Although daguerreotype is still revered for its superior clarity and resolution, it was dirty, dangerous, and took many years to master. While photographic techniques moved on, the desire to photograph the city never did. Cincinnati’s skyline would be immortalized many more times through the years.
On September 24, 2018 a group of local photographers recreated the iconic image. Every detail including time of day, location, elevation, and focal length was meticulously researched and executed with the very best technology the world currently has to offer: Hasselblad provided their renowned cameras for the re-creation.
Take a 170-year journey through the parallel growth of Cincinnati and photographic technology to reflect on the amazing achievements of those who came before us, be reminded of how fantastical our world is now, and be inspired by what the future can hold. The original daguerreotype, the modern recreation, and examples of Cincinnati cityscape images through the years are on view, along with a digital representation of the original daguerreotype and new version combined, so viewers can dissolve one into another experiencing in detail the exact changes our city has experienced.
Featured Artists: Chris Ashwell, Charles Fontayne, Maureen France, Sharee Allen, William S. Porter, Allen Woods, Chris Glass
They Knew Not My Name, and I Knew Not Their Faces is a series of black-and-white photographic portraits by Michael Wilson made across a wide cross-section of Cincinnati neighborhoods. The photographs were made in a portable studio, eliminating reference to place and simplifying the visual elements of the picture to the subject’s face, clothing, and gesture. The portable studio was set up in neighborhoods across Cincinnati and Hamilton County, in most cases outside of various branches of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. The series began in the neighborhood of Price Hill, where Wilson lives, in the summer of 2016 and throughout the spring and summer of 2018. The portrait sessions were unannounced and unscheduled to ensure an un-choreographed quality to the encounters. Participation was voluntary. Those who agreed to be photographed received a courtesy print in exchange for their participation.
They Knew Not My Name, and I Knew Not Their Faces is on view at the Main Library with smaller satellite exhibits at branch libraries where those particular portraits were made. A book accompanies the exhibition with supporting text by acclaimed writer RJ Smith.
Satellite Exhibits at these Branch Libraries:
Diane Arbus, Robert Frank, and Irving Penn were respected photojournalists with work published in fashion magazines such as Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. However, they would gain notoriety by turning their lens on the overlooked, unseen, and ostracized in society throughout the 1950s and 1960s. This post-war period was a time when photography was establishing itself as fine art, and their images would emerge as icons of the era.
Arbus, Frank, Penn: Masterworks of Post-War American Photography features 38 vintage gelatin silver prints including the Diane Arbus works “Identical Twins, Roselle, N.J.,” “Boy with a Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park,” and “Jewish Giant at Home with his Parents in the Bronx”; Robert Frank’s “Trolley, New Orleans,” “Parade, Hoboken,” and “Chicago (Man with Tuba)”; and Irving Penn’s “Mountain Children, Cuzco, Peru,” “Chimney Sweep, London,” and “Running Children, Rabat, Morocco.”
The Penn works date from the seminal period in his career, 1948–1951, and cover the three most important series from those years: the “small trades,” the “big nudes,” and the confrontational portraits of the mountain-top residents of Cuzco, Peru. The Frank works date from 1953–1958 and feature some of the key works reproduced in The Americans, arguably the most influential photography book of the 20th-century. The Arbus images date from 1961–1970 and include her most celebrated portraits.
Also on view: Now in Black and White
Local and regional artists are invited to apply for inclusion in this juried exhibition that examines the question of what will be iconic about this decade through black and white photography. Now in Black and White will be displayed in the Ancient Sculpture Museum during the Arbus, Frank, Penn: Masterworks of Post-War American Photography exhibition.
Submission Information: https://www.pyramidhill.org/now
Submission Deadline: August 1, 2018
Artist Emily Hanako Momohara investigates themes of immigration, identity, and labor within the framework of her own family narrative: from a famine entrenched Okinawa, Japan to Hawaii’s mainland America. In Hawaii, her great-grandparents worked on a pineapple plantation. They toiled through the day, grooming and harvesting the fields, at times with a child wrapped to their backs. Eventually, they were able to build their own three-room house. It was within the confines of those three rooms where the family of 11 grew, struggled, and thrived. While pineapples from the Hawaiian Islands were shipped to the mainland as luxury items, this exotic fruit is symbolic for the complex geographic and social paths her family has taken from immigrant farm work to consumers of luxury goods. Using imagery of agriculture and migration to unpack her personal and family story, Momohara allows one to critically reflect on the diverse experiences of immigrants in America.
Reveal investigates how the order and display of images can make previously unknown (or secret information) known to others. Featuring five artists exploring how photographs—originally intended to tell one story—can be altered by their presentation to reveal another story. The artists expose an intended story, in a specifically designated space, to show how one image can stand on its own or how it “collaborates” with its surroundings to present other revelations. The photographs, when installed together, create an entirely new story presented as part of a larger context. The images compel viewers to interpret the intended story and explore what lies behind the intent. What emotions, ideas, or goals do they project? Does the state of the physical environment matter? Reveal encourages the collection, sorting, and organization of information from the images, and the creation of an individual narrative based on new contexts.
Featured Artists: Sue Milinkovich, Steven Miller, Greg Rust, Jerry Stratton, Dan Wheeler
Massive global migrations have changed our psychological landscape and the ideas we have about place. These dislocations—as much mental and physical as geographic—have transformed ways of life in both places of origin and the new places of migratory settlement. In this installation, the idea of territoriality or lack thereof, of belonging or not, does not allude to a particular culture but to the symbolic spaces of common reference of disparate cultures. Displacement: Collective Practice to Recover Memory explores the use of historic personal and collective archives that today condition and shape the territory of Kettering and the greater Dayton area.
Displacement: Collective Practice to Recover Memory is a site-specific multi-media installation and collaboration with artist Juan-Sí González, Rosewood Arts Centre, the City of Kettering, and area residents. Through research and the review of visual memory items such as individual and family photographs, as well as Kettering and Dayton’s historical archives, the project developed into a multi-media installation.
Interdisciplinary artist Juan-Sí González was born in Cuba. He has lived in Ohio since 2003, during which time he received three Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Awards. His work was included in Memoria: Cuban Art of the 20th Century, has been exhibited at many prominent museums and institutions, and is included in several private and public collections.
This two-person show features the work of two Cincinnati-based photographers: Linda Gillings and Tina Gutierrez. Capturing people in their natural surroundings, be it through candid photography or a more interactive technique, is how Linda Gillings approaches street photography. Behind each expression, mannerism, or look is a story—a story she tries to capture about who the subject is and what they communicate in that moment.
Tina Gutierrez’s practice is grounded in her study of art, dance, fashion, and especially music. Her passion for music began at a very early age and influences the way she composes the human figure. Her affinity for the renaissance and baroque periods in particular extends beyond music into the visual world, specifically sculpture. Depicting classical balance and beauty in the human form is a hallmark of Gutierrez’s work. Her abstract and underwater series featuring dancers from the Cincinnati Ballet illustrates this delicate balance, as the figures appear to defy gravity behind the lens.
Featuring images of Sharonville and locations within five miles, from the perspectives of five artists, Sharonville +5: Then, Now, and Interpreted looks at a community’s history interpreted from the past through the present and how to save it for the future. Five photographers were invited to review local archival images for inspiration and identify images and places that resonated with them. The challenge was to then record their community including significant landmarks that have been documented in the archives of the Society of Historic Sharonville, Gorman Heritage Farm, Heritage Village Museum and Educational Center, and Great Parks of Hamilton County. This exercise is both an artistic reflection of and response to the community of Sharonville.
Featured Artists: Joseph John Bayer, West Chester; Bernadette Clemens-Walatka, Blue Ash; Susan Ernst, Sharonville; Becky Linhardt, Sharonville; Lynda Rust, Mt. Healthy
J. Miles Wolf brings his considerable talents to Jewish Cincinnati, which from the early 19th-century has been an important center of American Jewish life. Like Cincinnati’s general community, the Jewish community’s synagogues, cemeteries, and other institutions expanded and dispersed from downtown during the mid to late 19th-century to North Avondale by the early 20th-century, to Amberley Village and Roselawn by the second half of the 20th-century, and up the I-71 corridor to the suburbs and beyond in the early 21st-century. This exhibition seeks to provide a comprehensive photographic documentation of Jewish institutions in the Greater Cincinnati area, including current facilities and former places of worship and communal gathering that are still extant but are either unoccupied or repurposed. Concurrently, the project calls for a gathering of historic photographs from local archives and collections that depict events and ceremonies within these venues. Jewish Cincinnati offers new and inventive ways of looking at and thinking about both new photography and historical images: How might they be merged? What features of historical photographs of people and places might be incorporated into or superimposed over new photography? How can these processes be jumping-off points for conversations about repurposing buildings, respect for architectural integrity, and historic preservation?
Visitors will come away from this exhibition with a greater sense of the rich history of the Cincinnati Jewish community and the important role it has played and continues to play in the life of the Queen City.
More than 40 years after Louis Joyner took to the streets of his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee with a camera and a mission to teach himself photography, Stivers presents an archive of his work. Fresh out of architecture school, Joyner, fueled by the images he saw in Life and National Geographic magazines, aimed his camera on the life teeming in the city around him. His goal was to shoot 100 rolls of film each year, which he captured between the years of 1968 and 1971. During those four years he amassed a poignant group of photographs that show with such clarity and compassion the daily life of his city. The images landed him a job at The Commercial Appeal, but they remained mostly unseen until his recent retirement. This exhibition looks back at these black-and-white images of a city and time, bordering the Civil Rights movement and the Vietnam War, as a visual time-capsule of life from the 1960s and 1970s.
Student work that investigates street and documentary mediums in photography and video, will also be on view in response to the work of Louis Joyner.
Featured Artists: TBA
Domus Oculi, House of Eyes, is a contemporary interpretation of a camera obscura created for the FotoFocus Biennial 2018 by Cincinnati artist Erin Taylor. It is a freestanding structure housing a collection of camera obscura viewing devices made from lenses repurposed from film cameras and slide projectors—traditional capture and viewing devices that have become antiquated in today’s digital age. By appropriating the lenses, this work gives a new life to analog technologies. Each lens has unique properties and varying brightness, sharpness, angle of view, and focal length. Domus Oculi provides real-time views of lighting conditions, weather, and pedestrian and automobile traffic.
This work acts as a counterpoint to the deluge of images we encounter in our digital world and redirects our attention to the world around us. Simultaneously, Domus Oculi acts as a transitory archive of the Camp Washington neighborhood, connecting the viewer to this often overlooked city fabric. Domus Oculi expands lens-based art into the realm of installation, while acknowledging photography’s historic origins.
Taylor’s artistic practice is a culmination of years of experience in photography, architecture, wood-working, metal-working, installation, sculpture, and glass. His work references pre-film and pre-cinematic concepts and devices. He is an Adjunct Professor and Digital Fabrication Specialist at the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning.
Extension Viewing Dates:
November 10th-11th, 2018 from Noon – 4PM
November 17th-18th, 2018 from Noon – 4PM
Paris to New York: Photographs by Eugène Atget and Berenice Abbott explores the encounter between American photographer Berenice Abbott (1898–1991) and French photographer Eugène Atget (1857–1927) during the 1920s—an encounter that would have profound and lasting effects on the careers and legacies of both artists. Berenice Abbott and Eugène Atget met in Man Ray’s Paris studio in the early 1920s. Atget, then in his sixties, was obsessively recording the streets, gardens, and courtyards of the 19th-century city—“Old Paris”—as it was undergoing modernization. Abbott acquired much of Atget’s work after his death and was a tireless advocate for its value. In 1929, she relocated to New York and emulated Atget in her systematic documentation of that city, culminating in her epic photographic series Changing New York.
Abbott paid further tribute to Atget by publishing and exhibiting his work in the United States, and by printing hundreds of images from his negatives, using the gelatin silver process. Through Abbott’s efforts, Atget became known to an audience of photographers and writers who found diverse inspiration in his photographs. Abbott herself is remembered as one of the most independent, determined, and respected photographers of the 20th-century, and is celebrated in particular for her photographs of 1930s New York.
This exhibition and publication bring together for the first time selections from two enormous bodies of work—Atget’s Old Paris and Abbott’s Changing New York—and explore the legacy and artistic influence between two great photographers and their obsession with documenting the transformations of two of the world’s great modern cities.
Old Paris and Changing New York: Photographs by Eugène Atget and Berenice Abbott (Yale University Press) is published on the occasion of the FotoFocus Biennial 2018 and the exhibition at the Taft Museum of Art, Cincinnati.
|5pm||Opening Reception for Paris to New York: Photographs by Eugène Atget and Berenice Abbott|
|7pm||Keynote Lecture with Clément Chéroux, Senior Curator of Photography, SFMOMA
Introduction by Kevin Moore, FotoFocus Artistic Director and Curator
In the not-too-distant past, the world waited and watched with bated breath as space travel developed before their eyes. Outside/In/Inside/Out explores various archives that have documented these ventures into the great unknown. Through the astronaut’s lens we are presented with our planet’s vulnerable beauty. Photos from the Mercury 7 and Apollo 11 missions are represented in this exhibition, with early, grainy photographs documenting man’s first glimpses of the earth taken by hand-held cameras.
Alongside these historic and iconic images are more recent photographs of galaxies taken with high-powered telescopes equipped with the most advanced photographic technology, like the Hubble Space Telescope. Outside/In/Inside/Out takes a glimpse into these important astronomical moments from past and recent human history and emphasizes the need for these recorded images to be seen and preserved for future generations.
Outside/In/Inside/Out is curated by Michael Stillion.
Featured Artists: TBA
Mexican author Carlos Fuentes encourages us to “Recognize yourself in he and she who are not like you and me.” This sentiment is at the heart of the exhibition: to open the archive of strangers through photographs taken by local refugees and immigrants—those that have had to leave everything behind, including treasured family photos that connect them to their loved ones.
The stories of refugee and immigrant families are often boxed away and invisible to many Americans. This exhibition is an attempt to open the box and reveal that which is hidden inside. The themes and narratives, once released in the form of pictures, will help us to better understand their experience. The hopes, dreams, and desires of immigrants are not different than the rest of America–we have shared experiences. Their photographs oblige us to consider their story and, hopefully, compel us to greater understanding and compassion.
Featured Artists: Luke Kellett, Sodiq Onanuga, Bhim Rai, Bhimla Rai, and Lourdes Santos
The title Around the Corner emphasizes that there is an amazing community of artists working in the Northside neighborhood—around every corner—that will literally utilize the corners of buildings as blank canvases. These artworks are on view throughout this Cincinnati neighborhood at the intersection of what brings the community together. Artists are working from original source photographs to create murals, which are displayed next to the artist’s interpretations. The scale and design of these public images will be responsive to the individual site architecture. Walking tours will be scheduled throughout the run of the exhibition.
Featured Artists: Andrew Hostick, Brian Dooley, Marci Rosin, Braxton Thomas, Michael Reynolds, Courttney Cooper
In 1995, Michael Mergen and his then best friend Marshall “Mars” Bredt drove cross-country, covering more than 11,000 miles over six weeks. A year later, Brendt was dead from a heroin overdose. In this body of work, Mergen returns to places they visited more than 20 years ago and places snapshots on the sites where they were taken—presenting archival photographs imposed on contemporary landscapes. In the search for his friend and himself, these re-created landscapes feel both familiar and new. How does one serve as the sole caretaker of shared memories? The series of work considers what remains of a road trip, of a friendship, of memories, and of loss.
Timescapes: Earth’s Open Archive is a collection, combination, and juxtaposition of landscape images and photo-based installations, curatorially guided by art historian Hal Foster’s delineation of “archival art” as a genre. The exhibit highlights the serial intersections of archivists and researchers: planet Earth and photographer, photographer and curator, curator and viewer. Each archival interaction issues what Foster terms “promissory notes for further elaboration or enigmatic prompts for future scenarios” that serve as “found arks of lost moments in which the here-and-now of the work functions as a possible portal between an unfinished past and a reopened future.”
The archival impulse is a primal need to save something from the past for the future. An open archive shifts the burden of deciding what to save from the primary archivist to the subsequent researcher. Earth is an open archive responding to the effects of time. The landscape photographer selects points in space and time to save in a secondary archive of photographs. The curator selects what is saved for viewers in the exhibition––a tertiary archive.
Archives connect us to personal and objective history. The photo-based installations demonstrate our existential need for archival context, confronting viewers with their basic need of belonging and their own archival impulse, as well as its futility.
Featured Artists: Paula Chamlee, Lloyd Greene, Udo Greinacher, Ron Hoffman, Laura James, I. Kline, Guennadi Maslov, David Muench, J. Gordon Rodwan, Brad Austin Smith, Michael A. Smith, Michael Tittel, Matthew Zory
Social Medium exhibits and facilitates projects that create archives of communities made collaboratively with the communities being documented. Artists have made a place for themselves in the world of social work, being recognized as instigators for community redevelopment and for being able to build communication and collaboration in communities through creative means. Photography in particular has been used to create, document, and share communities, and as with the majority of art practices, in most photographic processes there is the artist, and then there is the subject.
In the world of social-practice art, where the aim is to create community and enact social change, the dynamic between photographer and model, artist and subject, can be problematic. Are we creating community or simply documenting it? Celebrating and bringing attention to populations or exploiting them? In response to this conflict of interest and the struggle of well-intentioned social-practice photographers to find the balance between using a camera to tell a story versus creating a new one, there has been a surge of photographic experiments that blur the lines between photographer and subject, artist and community.
Social Medium displays the results of several of these collaborative approaches to photography, and sees a shared, community-based photography project come to fruition with our own community.
Featured Artists: Eliza Gregory, Gemma-Rose Turnbull, Rebecca Hackemann, Mark Strandquist, Jason Lazarus, Chris Johnson, Hank Willis Thomas, Bayete Ross Smith, Kamal Sinclair, C. Jacqueline Wood, Natalie Mancino
The Barn (Woman’s Art Club Cultural Center) features a selection of Nancy Ford Cones pictorialist photographs (some of her original prints from various archives, and some digital images) alongside contemporary smartphone photos submitted by the public. The general public is invited to respond and reinterpret Cones’s images by submitting their own smartphone photos. These responsive photos were either inspired by her work, expressed a similar intent, or contrasted “then” and “now.” The best submitted photograph will be selected to complement each Cones photograph, resulting in a paired exhibit of early 20th-century pictorialism and early 21st-century “pixelism.”
Submission Deadline: September 18th, 2018
Submission Information: Photo2Foto_08_finalprospectus.pdf
Featured Artists: Kylee Dhonau, Gillian Fajack, Paul Filipkowski, Abby Graham, Christine Kuhr, Gary Long, L Long, Alleen Manning, Maya Mehlman, Aquila Stoner, Joe Stoner, Kimberly Baer-Walk
Kelly Gallagher, Filmmaker, Curator, and Assistant Professor of Film at Syracuse University, NY, with Miranda July, Acclaimed Filmmaker, Artist, and Writer, Los Angeles, CA
Introduction by C. Jacqueline Wood, FotoFocus Guest Curator and The Mini Microcinema Director, Cincinnati, OH
Miranda July in conversation with Kelly Gallagher to discuss her Joanie 4 Jackie Archive.
In 1995, Miranda July dropped out of college, moved to Portland, Oregon, and typed up a pamphlet that she imagined would be the start of a revolution of girls and women making movies and sharing them with each other. The pamphlet said: “A challenge and a promise: Lady, you send me your movie and I’ll send you the latest Big Miss Moviola Chainletter Tape.”
Joanie 4 Jackie (aka Big Miss Moviola) was an underground film network for girls and women, formed in 1995. For more than ten years women sent their movies to Joanie 4 Jackie and received a “Chainletter” tape in return — their movie compiled with nine others. In a pre-YouTube world, this was one-way women could see each other’s work and know they weren’t alone. The project inspired girls to make movies for the first time, circulated work by seasoned artists and connected women across the country through screenings and booklets of letters that arrived with each videotape. By the time the project had run its course the work of over 200 filmmakers was distributed through 22 compilation tapes, and Joanie 4 Jackie had exhibited movies all over the world, from punk clubs to the Museum of Modern Art.
In January 2017 The Getty Research Institute announced the acquisition of the complete Joanie 4 Jackie archives. Twenty-seven boxes of tapes, posters, letters, embarrassing notes, to-do lists, and grandiose plans will be made available to researchers and preserved for all time in a feminist and queer context, alongside the archives of artists such as Yvonne Rainer, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Carolee Schneemann.
|6pm||Conversation with Miranda July: Cinema and the Archive
Kelly Gallagher, Filmmaker, Curator, and Assistant Professor of Film at Syracuse University, NY, with Miranda July, Acclaimed Filmmaker, Artist, and Writer, Los Angeles, CA
Introduction by C. Jacqueline Wood, FotoFocus Guest Curator and The Mini Microcinema Director, Cincinnati, OH
“Ron Geibert photographs with the sensibility of a jazz musician. He delights in taking chances, in exploring the edge where identifiable form shades into apparent randomness, and in discovering beauty and pleasure in the unexpected. His pictures have about them an air of improvisation, a freedom from deliberation and predictability; his photographic “touch” is attuned to subtle nuances more than to conspicuous gestures. Geibert’s photographs reflect qualities of discernment and sophistication, a sense of timing and apparent ease that put one in mind of a performer who plays in the vicinity of the note and next to the beat, but who is never so common and obvious as to play right on them.” —Sean Wilkinson
Four Decades celebrates the work of Professor Emeritus Ron Geibert and his 27-year career at Wright State University. Commonly artists work with a particular theme, problem, or issue for long periods, which is the case for artist Ron Geibert. For 20 years he was a color documentarian, followed by 20 years as an experimental installation and multi-media artist focused on Orwellian issues of deception and the oversaturation of stimuli. Recently, Geibert returned to the camera, then an iPhone, and then onto obsolete software to modify previously made works. Geibert simultaneously explored revised ideas, new ideas, and old ideas throughout his career.
This survey show includes many photographic works and publications generated over four decades of Geibert’s career. Acknowledging that the printed book is perhaps an instrument destined for obsolescence, Geibert’s plates are a visual tour of the beauty and beguiling power of images and text found within the pages. His panoramic “sliver” prints are a return to early ideas, though now illustrating information conveyed more by bits and pieces in the digital age. Traditional silver prints provide insight into his undergraduate days, while the panoramic inkjet prints using an iPhone are new ideas he discovered through the “sliver” exploration.
The Celebrative Spirit: 1937–1943 illustrates a country dependent upon social and recreational events to boost the spirit of their communities. The exhibition combines rarely seen photographs of this “community spirit” from the Library of Congress, rare audio and video interviews, and interpretative text by noted historian F. Jack Hurley on ten photographers employed by the Farm Security Administration during the Roosevelt Presidency. In 1935, the Roosevelt Administration took steps to illustrate to Congress and the American people the success of their fight against rural poverty. One of the most influential efforts of documentation was the photographic program under the Farm Security Administration, now commonly called the FSA Project. According to Director Roy Stryker, “What we ended up with was as well-rounded a picture of American life during that period as anyone could get.” Stryker had asked that the photographers keep in mind “that the purpose is to show that the residents are leading normal, settled lives. The families eat, sleep, work, laugh, raise children, gossip, picnic, read books, and wash clothes.” For most, the FSA Project is ancient history, but, for others, it is a source for reflection on current events and challenges.
Archives like the FSA Project help preserve the past, inform the present, and affect the future. Unfortunately, the truth in archives or history can also be manipulated by applying different rules and criteria to mark it. We will use the expertise of noted FSA historian F. Jack Hurley to provide a balance between the known and the speculated since he, among historians, had the most contact with the FSA photographers 45 years ago and during the decades that followed.
Featured Artists: Russell Lee, Arthur Rothstein, Marjory Collins, Jack Delano, Arthur Siegel, Marion Post Wolcott
The Collection highlights photographic artworks from the Wright State University’s permanent collection acquired by Professor Emeritus Ron Geibert from 1992–2007. During his 27-year career at Wright State University, Professor Emeritus Ron Geibert curated more than a dozen exhibitions that resulted in publications and/or additions for the school’s permanent collection. Among the listings was Parents, which bore witness to the profundity of that first relationship in our lives; and Water Being Water, featuring David Goldes, a scientist-turned-artist using the simplest of elements, H2O. Also of particular merit was the use of cutting-edge (at the time) technology—the CD-ROM—to inform audiences about the arts. In 1994, Geibert’s The New Street Photography was among the earliest CD-ROM publications about photography. As a free-lance producer, Geibert and Digital Editions Dayton published a 1997 CD-ROM on the FSA Period, followed by one that examined competition among youth in the United States and Japan. Perhaps the most significant undertakings, though, were the Kodak-sponsored Photography in the 1990s: Fifty Portfolios and Photography Now: One Hundred Portfolios electronic publications. Each was the result of works submitted from around the world—the first culled from submissions by 500 artists from 30 countries and the second from nearly 1,300 photographers representing 60 countries. Each made use of jury panels composed of distinguished curators from Germany, Japan, France, and New York, Houston, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.
Featured Artists: Aziz+Cucher, James Butkus, John Chervinsky, Doug DuBois, David Goldes, Nicholas Nixon, Olivia Parker, Alan Rath, Kerry Skarbakka, Sandy Skoglund, Robert Stivers, Henry Wessel
Remembering 1975–1980 is a collection of prints by PJ Sturdevant created using the traditional Bromoil process between 1975 and 1980 on 35mm film. Reviewing his archive of more than one thousand 35mm negatives helped Sturdevant remember this time period and relfect on how things have changed, like Martin Street. Now renamed Adams Crossing, it was once a street with a church, junk shops, and residential properties. Many of the subjects in Sturdevant’s archive no longer exist or have been significantly changed.
Bromoil was one of the favorite and beloved processes of the pictorialists and salon exhibition photographers during the first half of the 20th-century. No exhibition of the pictorialist photographic arts was without lovely, soft, and painterly Bromoil prints. These prints were handcrafted and produced using brushes and lithographic ink making each print unique.
A juried exhibition of photographs by local artists illuminating America’s interior regions, an often-overlooked bastion of cultural, social, political, and economic vitality. Air travelers flying coast to coast at 30,000 feet are often oblivious to the diverse, unsung populations of urban areas, small towns, and villages they are passing over. In many ways, the daily lives of people in these flyover regions are not so different from those in large coastal cities but there are many opportunities to capture scenes not found on either coast. The cultural, social, political, and economic vitality of the regions rivals that of either coast, and the intellectual and artistic aspirations are equally stimulating. Flyover Country intends to illuminate the often deliberate, sometimes perceived, anonymity of the forgotten, overlooked, or neglected subjects—social, cultural, or geographic demographics between coastal regions or ideological extremes.
Flyover Country is curated by Local Eyes, a group of five Cincinnati photographers: Helen Adams, Jymi Bolden, Melvin Grier, Samantha Grier, and Ann Segal.
Featured Artists: Erika NJ Allen, Tad Barney, Lisa Britton, Michael Caporale, Chris Cone, Bruce Crippen, Robert A. Flischel, Maureen France, Tim Freeman, Tina Gutierrez, Ron Hoffman, Todd Joyce, Michael Kearns, Michael E. Keating, Guennadi Maslov, Mary Nemeth, Brenda Pottinger, Larry Pytlinski, Jesse Roos, Gregory Rust, J. Michael Skaggs, Brad Smith, Matt Steffen, Jerry Stratton, David Thomson, Bryn Weller, J. Miles Wolf
The YWCA Women’s Art Gallery presents Vis-Abilities, an exhibit showcasing the work of local women artists with disabilities. Featuring photographs by Amy Hayden, Emily Funk, Joselyn Navichoque-Munoz, and Cindy Vogelsong from the Visionaries and Voices artist collective and mixed media works by Ricci Michaels, a disabled Navy veteran who is legally blind. These works reflect the artists’ unique perspective and experience, and encapsulate their ongoing struggle for social inclusion and independence. In a world where what we see shapes our understanding of our world, images of and by individuals with disabilities are most notable for their absence. This exhibit empowers role models for those with disabilities and helps create a culture that accurately reflects and values all.
Featured Artists: Emily Funk, Amy Hayden, Ricci Michaels, Joselyn Navichoque-Munoz, Cindy Vogelsong