group show 56:
About the Artists
Bio: Ben Alper is an artist based in Durham, North Carolina. He received a BFA in photography from the Massachusetts College of Art & Design in Boston and an MFA in Studio Art from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Alper’s work has been shown widely, including group exhibitions at Osnova Gallery in Moscow, the NADA Art Fair in Miami, Higher Pictures and Transmitter Gallery in New York, Schneider Gallery in Chicago and S1 Gallery in Portland. Additionally, his work has been published in Time Magazine, The British Journal of Photography, Conveyor Magazine, The California Sunday Magazine, SPOT Magazine and Dear, Dave. Ben has also published two books under his imprint Flat Space Books – Adrift and A Series of Occurrences. He is also the co-founder and co-facilitator of A New Nothing, an online project space dedicated to hosting visual conversations between artists. Recently, his third book, and the first material publication of A New Nothing, was published by There There Now.
Statement: Background Noise addresses the analog photograph’s shifting presence within contemporary culture, while meditating on questions of materiality in the digital age. Through the use of imaging tools, the mediated images that make up this project underpin the precariousness of photography’s role in remembrance in the face of digitization. The resulting scars symbolize the process of transference gone amiss."
Bio: Arena received a degree in Industrial Design from the University of Rome and one in Photography from Istituto Superiore di Fotografia. In 2012 he co-founded Anotherstudio, a creative space in Rome and a collective of young photographers. He now lives and works in Milan.
Statement: In Second Chance, archival pictures - produced at different times and for different purposes - are used to draw new visions.
Bio: Arthurs is a visual artist living in Buffalo, New York. He received his M.F.A. in Photography from Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 2012 and a B.F.A. in Studio Art from Carleton College in 2005. Ryan was recently a printmaking artist-in-residence at Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass Village, Colorado, Fall 2017.
Statement: The military employs a unique language – verbal, written, visual – to describe their rituals, routines and traditions. This is true within each branch, each division, and each unit. Queer servicemen likewise, used a coded language to seek one another out and develop their community under the surface of strict military order. I hand paint various military phrases with adhesive and gold leaf, selecting each for its coded double-meaning, to call attention to this unique and groundbreaking network of Americans.
Bio: Atallah is a Lebanese-born, New York-based photographer, visual artist, and writer. She’s interested in migration, dispossession, citizenry, and geopolitics. Her work reflects on the power of imagery to alter narratives, and enforce a dominant historical discourse. Her work has been exhibited in the US and abroad.
Statement: "Stories from the Home Front" is an ongoing series in which I document my growing estrangement to my home country by both making photographs, as well as utilizing images sourced from my family's archive combined with found imagery on the web.
Bio: Church was born in Boston, MA in 1965. Her work has been exhibited in selected solo and group shows in New York, Ohio, Italy, France and Bermuda. She showed with Gallery Molly Krom in New York City. Elise received her Bachelor of Science at Skidmore College in 1987 with a major in Fine Arts. She was a resident fellow at Yaddo in 2017. She lives in Sunset Park, Brooklyn with her husband and son.
Statement: The series called “Shadow Boxes” reference a miniature one-room doll house and are photo-collages cut from 1960’s snapshots. I acquire “lots” of these small, discarded prints, the very same photographs from my family albums, and excise them based on palette, composition and pattern. The negative voids as relevant as what remains. It is my intent to create an ambiguous contrast between narrative and abstraction, image and object, nostalgia and now.
Bio: Cole is an award-winning visual and performing artist based in the Boston area. His mother instilled in him a love of garage sales and thrift stores, where he developed a fascination with the junk that people leave behind. His work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, among others, and he is represented by Gallery Kayafas.
Statement: These images began as found photographs with a single person who, unlike the rest of the smiling group, bear looks of loneliness and longing that stop me in my tracks. Altered to segregate the one from the many, the shape of the crowd is maintained, hinting at the group of which the person is a part, but with which they do not feel at home, to make visible the person who feels invisible.
Bio: Craven is an American artist based in Idaho. His work explores the role of images in processes of socialization, specifically how they shape our identities, memories, and desires. Using photography, video, sculpture, and collage he creates images and objects aimed at forming narratives that brim with new possibilities - engaging viewer’s senses with the familiar, the bizarre, the mundane, and the erotic.
Statement: In his project "Missing," images are cut, folded, and reconfigured. Focal information is hidden, while drawing the viewer’s attention to secondary gestures. Conventional scenes take on new readings with faceless, ambiguous forms. This simple yet powerful act becomes an exploration in the potential for new meaning through subtraction.
Bio: Cumming is a photo-based artist with a fervent interest in representation and a personal fascination with depictions of the human creature. Often employing humour as a strategy to transgress boundaries, she attempts to make work that is both wondrous while disconcerting, seductive while grotesque.
Statement: I have undertaken a long-term investigation mapping the intersection between incongruent visual objects with an anthropologist’s eye. Culling anonymous, found, and historical photographs from Ebay.com by searching with the descriptions “bad” and “teeth, I am interested in the subjective language we use to describe, analyze, and ultimately categorize the content of an image.
Bio: England has exhibited in the UK, the US, Europe, Asia and Australia. She is a two-time UK winner of the Magenta Foundation Flash Forward Emerging Photographers competition and in 2012 won the CENTER $5,000 Project Launch Award. England is a graduate of RISD’s MFA program and holds an MA and a BA in painting and drawing. She is represented by KlompChing Gallery and is completing her PhD at The Australian National University.
Statement: For this project, I rework personal snapshots to give the trees – the backdrops, the ‘poor cousins’ – an importance and presence all their own. I make them the primary characters. I use sandpaper to erase all other content. I also collage and enlarge snapshots to create new tree-based ‘scapes’ that read as metaphors for the body. Through various labor-intensive process, these snapshots highlight the permeability of nature and the nature of photographic representation.
Bio: Friend is a Canadian artist predominately working with the medium of photography. Friend has exhibited nationally and internationally, including the Gexto Photofestival (Spain), DongGang Photography Museum (Korea), Mosteiro de Tibães at the Encontros Da Imagem, (Portugal). Her work has been featured in publications such as: California Sunday Magazine (USA), GUP Magazine (Amsterdam), and Magenta Flash Forward Emerging Photography Competition (Canada).
Statement: This series Multi-verse aims at playing with the possibilities of how we experience life, time, and place and with the manner that we experience the photographic medium. Who are we now? Who were we then? What was the world like in the past? What exists beyond the frame?
I question what is beyond the frame literally and facetiously, as we search for an extension of our existence. Much of my work attempts to use the medium to explore what cannot be seen. The photographs are a record; with gaping holes, opening up potential readings for each image. We, the world, are much more than what we see. I slice the surfaces to comment on the delicacy of everything. Our lives, the fragile experience of nature and place, the singularity and seemingly never-ending permanence of everything. But, this is a lie, just a photographs are, in a sense, a falsity.
Photos are able to seal our place in "a" time, but that place is forever gone.
Bio: Jennifer Greenburg is an Associate Professor of Fine Art at Indiana University Northwest. Greenburg’s work is part of the permanent collection of The Museum of Contemporary Art Tuscon, The Museum of Contemporary Photography, The Museum of Photographic Arts, Light Work, The Santa Barbara Museum of Art and the National Gallery of Ontario. A full-length monograph, The Rockabillies, 2009, by Jennifer Greenburg was published by the Center for American Places.
Statement: Revising History is a study on photography and its role in creating cultural allegories. Images help us remember selectively. The danger in this is we seem to have forgotten that the picture liberates the moment from reality, erases vantage, and is inevitably susceptible to a co-opted or underwritten fantasy. To engage these layered truths, I replace the central figure in found vernacular photographs with an image of myself.
Bio: Ben Bowden Lee (b.1990) is an Atlanta-based artist working primarily with found and appropriated imagery, text, and objects. Earning his MFA in photography from Georgia State University, his work has been published and exhibited with Atlanta Celebrates Photography, Atlanta Photography Group, Colorado Photographic Arts Center, Aqua Art Miami, and Elsewhere Museum in Greensboro, NC.
Statement: In my series “Manipulations” I re-examine the relationship between the family album and the construction of collective memory. Much of my family history is based on incomplete photographic archives and recollections passed down through generations. Due in part to degenerative memory or severed ties, the narrative of my family becomes blurred by fabrications and falsehoods. Through collaged mark-making and erasure, memories collide and decay into photographic abstractions.
Bio: Levine is an artist, collector and curator. Her archive (a.k.a. Project B with Paige Ramey) is the foundation of her artwork, exhibitions and publications. She is the author of several books including People Fishing: A Century of Photographs (Princeton Architectural Press, 2018). Martin Venezky is a photographer and distinguished graphic designer whose accomplishments are many including design of the Wes Anderson Collection and a solo exhibition at SFMOMA.
Statement: “We have been where you are going.” is a phrase that captures the blurriness between past and present and is a reminder that whatever we wish for has been sought out by others before us. Martin Venezky and I have collaborated for ten years and our most recent works inspired by this sentiment are our photo collages exploring the horizon line. We combine found photos with abstraction to construct a fresh encounter with the past, and with photography itself.
Bio: Lounguine is a Ukrainian visual artist. She was born in 1993 in Odessa. Youngest child in a family of social activists and intellectual, she has been raised with great curiosity and awereness. She Graduated the Tavricheskaya Art School of Saint-Petersburg, and received a Degree in Esthetics and Culture at the The Ukrainian Academy of Arts.
Statement: Ina’s body of work aims to trigger political and social debates and encourage dialogue. With visual metaphors she creates scenery for matters she wishes to bring attention to, such as racism, drug use, gun violence among others.
Bio: New York City based travel and portrait photographer. Inspired by forgotten cities, strange moments, and the American Road Trip.
Statement: Arriving in Scandinavia with the intention of photographing the Swedish people, I encountered a number of cultural and psychological obstacles to scouting models for my work. Forced to rethink the process of creating portraits, I began photographing the community of Malmö without their knowledge. In 'good morning! Good morning! Good morning!', portraits are conceived in anonymity rather than determined by a direct interaction with the subject. To replace the model's physical presence within my studio, I photographed unsuspecting persons and reshaped their printed, cropped images by hand before shooting them again against a black background on film.
Martha Naranjo Sandoval
Bio: Naranjo Sandoval is a New York-based filmmaker and visual artist from Mexico City. Her work focuses in the materiality of image; in the difference between how time is portrayed in moving and still image; and in how images gain significance culturally.
Statement: Petén 411 is the apartment building where I grew up. We were the last of many members of my extended family to inhabit it. “Petén” never belonged to us, and yet it’s impossible to tell my family’s story without talking about it. Moving out was one of my first traumas. These are all pictures of me at Petén 411 as I try to think of how that place went on its story without me.
David Pace and Stephen Wirtz
Bio: Pace is a photographer and film-maker. He taught photography at universities throughout the San Francisco Bay Area for more than 25 years. His photographs have been published and exhibited internationally. David is the chair of the exhibition committee at the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art and a member of the acquisition committee of the San Jose Museum of Art. Stephen Wirtz was the founder and director of the Wirtz Gallery in San Francisco.
Statement: Photographer David Pace and Gallerist/Collector Stephen Wirtz have been collaborating on their project “WIREPHOTO” for several years. Together they look at photographic images from WW II by unknown photographers that have been transmitted via radio waves. The original prints are scanned, cropped, edited in photoshop and printed 24” x 30”. The new images enhance the imperfections of the original process and investigate the history of photography.
Bio: Ali Padgett (b.1985) is a California native living and working in Oakland/San Francisco. Captivated by the numerous ways in which images portray the world and circulate within it, her work incorporates found and printed photographs in an attempt to both unravel pictures and complicate them. Her most recent project created in collaboration with curator Amelia Brod was a photographic intervention within the bookstore E.M. Wolfman titled Forget how to read.
Statement: I choose to use what’s already been photographed in order to explore what cannot be. Working in the style of collage, I layer and compose an image, working cumulatively through ideas, emotions and intuition. What the world has captured of itself is only half of the story. My images embrace the other half; the unknown, the unresolved, the unexplained and the imaginative.
Bio: Originally from Germany, Birthe moved to Canada in 2005 after receiving her MFA from the University of Essen in Communication Design and Photography. Birthe's project The Idea of North won the Critical Mass Book Award 2009, and was published as a monograph in 2011. She was nominated for the AIMIA AGO Award 2014, and her project Lying Still was shortlisted for the Edward Burtinsky Grant in 2016.
Statement: Her Story is a meditation on my mother's and grandmother's loss of memory due to Dementia and Alzheimer's disease and examines the relationship between memory and identity.
Bio: Romo is visual artist based in North Texas. His work challenges traditional image making and focuses on the construction of past and present through an examination of culture where authenticity is altered. Diego earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in photography from the University of North Texas. Diego is one of the four recipients of the 2017 Clare Hart DeGolyer Memorial Fund from the Dallas Museum of Art.
Statement: Over the years I have heard my parents memories; stories of warmth, youth, and poverty. There is no physical evidence of my family’s history, found imagery has become a process of portraying my family and the creation of our collective memory. Creating tension through the manipulation of found images forces traces of memory to be left behind or altered. This allows the authenticity of identity and family interaction to be questioned through a creative narrative.
Bio: Joe Rudko is a graduate of Western Washington University and has shown broadly in both solo and group exhibitions throughout the Northwest including shows at PDX CONTEMPORARY ART (Portland, OR), Roq La Rue (Seattle, WA), LxWxH (Seattle, WA), Photo Center Northwest (Seattle, WA), Whatcom Museum of Art (Bellingham, WA), and Greg Kucera Gallery (Seattle, WA) among others. He has been the recipient of the Future List Award and two Art Walk Awards from City Arts Magazine as well as the Vermont Studio Center Fellowship Award. His work was featured on the cover of indie rock band Death Cab for Cutie’s 2015 album Kintsugi and is included in the collections of the Portland Art Museum, Fidelity Investments, and the private collections of Dorothy Lemelson, James and Susan Winkler, and Driek Zirinsky.
My work addresses photography’s continuously expanding role as a tool to communicate ideas, feelings, and truths – and its tendency to shift shape in how it is defined and understood as a medium. Using collage, drawing, and sculpture I manipulate, obscure, and otherwise distort found photographs, cutting and tearing them to reveal their limitations as representations of personal history. This disruption demystifies the illusion of the photograph, exposing its increasingly malleable interpretation and mortality as a physical object. My interventions give these anonymous, once-antiquated snapshots a new life and ability to live beyond their fading past.
Bio: Serrah Russell was born in 1986 and have lived in Washington state for as long as she can remember. Russell earned a BFA in Photography from the University of Washington and currently works as an artist and independent curator in Seattle. Her work has been exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions in the Northwest, as well as in Vancouver, British Columbia; Melbourne, Australia; London, England; Athens, Greece, Los Angeles, CA and New York, NY.
Statement: My practice is a constant exploration of the photographic image and its ability to evoke memory, emotion and association. I am intrigued by how malleable photos can be so I seek to harness that as I manipulate, crop and juxtapose found photos, mostly from magazines advertisements and editorials and family slide collections and use these materials to investigate the relationship between subject and surrounding, specifically the way our human emotions become entwined with our physical environment.
Bio: Kris Sanford is an assistant professor at Central Michigan University. She received the Fellowship 17 International Award from Silver Eye Center for Photography and had a recent solo exhibition at Blue Sky Gallery in Portland, Oregon. Her art explores intimate relationships, specifically queer desire, through portraiture, video, and the use of appropriated images.
Statement: Relationships, real or imagined, are at the center of my work. Growing up as a lesbian, I searched for a history that spoke to me and included me. In my family history, there were no couples that mirrored my own intimate relationships. That didn’t keep me from imagining such couples. By selecting images that picture men together and women together, I bring a contemporary queer rereading to snapshots from the 1920s- 1950s.
Bio: Tatum Shaw is a photographer and advertising copywriter based in Portland, OR and Atlanta, GA
Bio: Born in Brooklyn, NY, Pacifico Silano received his MFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts. His work has been exhibited at the Bronx Museum; Tacoma Art Museum; and The Armory Show, New York City. He has had solo shows at Baxter ST@CCNY and VOLTA NY. Reviews of his work have appeared in The New Yorker and Artforum. He is a 2016 fellow in Photography from the New York Foundation for the Arts.
Statement: My research-based artistic practice explores representations and histories of the LGBTQ community. Using appropriation of imagery, video and text, my work addresses the emotional and physical void felt from the AIDS crisis, our constantly changing relationship to the past and the importance of archiving a rapidly changing queer culture.
Elin O'Hara Slavick
Bio: A Professor of Conceptual Photography and Interdisciplinary Practices at UNC, Chapel Hill for 25 years, slavick has published 2 monographs - Bomb After Bomb and After Hiroshima - and has exhibited her work internationally. She has been making collages since childhood.
Statement: Collage is a means to collide worlds, disrupt assumptions, play with images in a subversive and surreal manner, to archive the uncanny. Many of my collages utilize vernacular photographs. I have been making and collecting photographs since I was a child. As John Berger says, "Photographs are ambiguous...Meaning is not instantaneous." We give photographs meaning.
Rachel E. Thomas
Bio: Rachel E. Thomas (b.1988) is a Detroit based documentary photographer. Her work explores and investigates culture, celebration, activism, pride and intimacy.
Statement: This series focuses on found images of black women combined with various advertisements. Vintage Decadence simultaneously celebrates black womanhood while also addressing overindulgence in American culture. This body of work looks at a historic revolution that specifically affected women and their bodies, while also addressing colorism, an issue that continues to plague the black community to this very day.
Joseph P. Traina
Bio: Born in New York, Joseph P. Traina currently resides in Seattle, Washington. They received their BFA in Visual Arts from SUNY Purchase College. Joseph has shown their work in the Pacific Northwest at Velouria, Hollow Earth Radio, ArtsWest, and Photographic Center Northwest. Joseph has done takeovers/online residences for Humble Arts Foundation, Streit House Space, and Photo Alum: Purchase College.
Statement: A physical photograph in your hands can tell you so much more than a photograph backlit on a phone, or computer screen. The smells. The curves. The fingerprints. The imperfections. I have deeply connected with a school portrait of myself. I carry this photograph around with me in my journal. I play with this photograph, I allow space for this photograph to be heard, to be seen.
Bio: Tulloch holds a First Class Honours and an MFA. She was awarded the UWE/Spike Island Graduate Fellowship, a Small Wonders Award, has been commissioned by the National Trust and Berwick Film and Media Festival and selected for the Rotterdam International Film Festival. She has exhibited in the UK and abroad, including Plus Arts Projects, London, Spike Island, Bristol and Baltic 39, Newcastle. Tulloch recently completed her first artists’ book Object Image published by Daylight books.
Statement: This series stems from the artist’s inheritance of her grandfathers’ collection of photographs, slides and cine films. Faultline and the subsequent Cut Series and Postcards re-work these black and white family photographs in unrehearsed and irreversible fashion. The material fabric of the image, the object, and the image content are all interrogated. This image phenomenon in our homes, lives and in the image soaked world, drives a reconstructive process seeking new forms of self-sufficiency for Tulloch’s works.
Bio: Alexis Vasilikos (b.1977) is an Athens-based fine art photographer and the co-editor of Phases Magazine. He is represented by CAN Christina Androulidaki Gallery.
Statement: To see is to lose oneself in the seeing.
Bio: Feiyi Wen (b.1990) is a visual artist and researcher that lives and works in London, UK. She works with different mediums including photography, moving image, sound and installation. She graduated from Royal College of Art with a Master Degree in Fine Art Photography in 2015. She is currently undergoing a practice-led PhD at Slade School of Fine Art (UCL). Her work has been featured in exhibitions and magazine around the world, and she was shortlisted for the Hariban Award in 2017, the Lecica Barnack Newcomer Award and Magenta Flash Forward in 2015, and was selected as a winner of the Magnum Graduate Photographers Award 2016.
Statement: Under the Yuzu Tree is an on-going project, I am working with mixed media, such as our family archive, photographs, paper ephemerals, texts and video installation. I am seeking traces of uncertain identity of my own family history. Through investigating family photographs, letter and other material, I am trying to put the fragmental pieces together into some kind of entity. By mixing up different material, I am testing the blurry distinction between documentation and fiction. I am in particular looking into how the narrative is altered from memory through images and how the ambiguous nature contained within the everyday. Within the liminal space between time, space and history, I am interested in the interplay between autobiography and imagination.
Bio: Wohl received her BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2001 and her MFA from the University of Georgia in 2010. She is an assistant professor of Art at the University of the South, and her studio practice includes drawing, painting, embroidery, quilting and collage.
Statement: My practice of investigating and scrutinizing people, objects and domestic environments reveals hidden metaphors and interpretations that we cannot, or choose not, to see. In these portraits, I exploit the uncanny while subverting domestic representations of perfection and happiness. Conceptual strategies such as mutating and hiding induce a sense of discomfort. By employing tight boundaries, clean edges and sickly smiles, secret interiors are protected from the outside world.
Ronnie Eugene Wright
Bio: Ronnie Eugene Wright 2nd (b.1972 Pfafftown, North Carolina) M.F.A. 2001, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois. Lives and works in Tokyo, Japan.
Statement: The images, sourced from digital archives, are manufactured abstractions of histories formed by corrupt data. The images explore how sentimentality presents itself when a trace of the original narrative remains and the effects of this abstraction of facts.