Houston Center of Photography Annual: Profound Movement

“Vortex” has been included in this year’s Annual at Houston Center of Photography.

Vortex, 2016

The Center Annual is Houston Center for Photography’s yearly group exhibition that seeks to highlight and provide insight into current themes, technologies, and practices in photography. The show features a diverse array of works from members of our global photography community and is selected by a leading curator, editor, or artist. This annual exhibition opens our galleries to photographers from anywhere in the world, whether emerging, mid-career, or established, and as such, aims to provide viewers with critical insight into our current moment—both within the field of photography and within society at large. Shane Lavalette, director of Light Work, selected 38 artists out of over 200 entries from around the globe.

Exhibition on View

July 19 – September 1, 2019

Opening Reception:

July 19, 2019; 5:30-8pm with juror and artist remarks starting at 6pm

This year’s Center Annual Exhibition artists include:

Sasha Arutyunova
Elijah Barrett
Pauline Batista
Christa Blackwood
Samantha Box
Jessica Buie
Claire Chauvin
Yvette Marie Dostatni
Maureen Drennan
Yael Eban
Arash Fewzee
Taylor Galloway
Preston Gannaway
Emily Graham
Garrett Grove
J Houston
Brendon Kahn
Vikesh Kapoor
Ian Kline
Ward Long
Rita Maas
Bradley Marshall
Zora Murff
Deanna Pizzitelli
Alice Quaresma
Daniel Ramos
Shawn Records
Tamara Reynolds
Aaron Rothman
Elina Ruka
Ginevra Shay
Sean Sprague
Anika Steppe
Aaron Turner
Nat Ward
Kendra Ward
Jaclyn Wright
Naiwen Zhang

PAN4KĀ/@SEA

My piece “Relativity” is included in a group exhibition PAN4KĀ or @SEA at Mūkusalas Mākslas salons, on view until August 17th, 2019.

The exhibition @SEA turns to a discrepancy that sometimes arises in the perception when comparing the moods generated by marine landscapes in Latvian exhibition spaces with those coming to mind abroad. 

While Latvian professional, traditional and popular culture has no shortage of literal depictions of the sea and various marine metaphors, there is a specific association that normally remains absent  the sea as the medium of colonisation and slave trade, the sea that, along with the brave and the boastful, the family and kolkhoz breadwinners, has swallowed several million of the innocent.

It could be argued that the modest colonial adventures of the 17th century Dukes of Courland on the Island of Tobago and in the estuary of the Gambia River are neither the concern nor the responsibility of the contemporary Latvian nation. These gentlemen did not draw their legitimacy from the will or myths of the majority of the population under their control. Furthermore they had themselves arrived here as a result of colonial ambitions to exploit local natural and human resources. 

Yet, since the abolition of serfdom and the national awakening, Latvian public and private popular culture has proved to be fairly receptive towards 'European' fantasies of our very own overseas colonies and people-as-objects, whom some to this very day would gladly keep at home as servants.

Othello can still be uncritically performed in blackface on the stages of respected Latvian theatre houses, while the musical play Tobago by the notable Latvian writer and cultural worker Māra Zālīte, which was first staged in 2001 and restored in 2017, is described on her website as “a story about big, beautiful dreams which sometimes, unfortunately, do not come true, but without which it is impossible to live”.[*]

The exhibition @SEA does not regret the failure of colonial ambitions. Instead, it dreams of stepping below the deck and looking at the horizon from below. Taking marine landscapes by Latvian artists  not unlike those that grace the walls of resort museums in the summer season  it yearns to appropriate a perspective which has undeservedly been left unexplored in Latvian culture.

The exhibition is curated by Valts Miķelsons.

[*]http://www.marazalite.lv/2017/12/17/dziesmu-spele-tobago/  (in Latvian) 



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Roja Art Lab

Very excited to be chosen for the Roja Art Lab residency this summer with an international company

Agnieszka Foltyn (PL/NO)
Boohri Park (KR/DE)
Christoph Mugge (DE/SE)
Elīna Ruka (LV)
Gints Gabrāns (LV)
Robert Luzar (SI/CA/UK)
Ronit Porat (IL)
Ursula Achternkamp (DE)

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All the Waves Belong to the Sea

My solo show "All the Waves Belong to the Sea" at the Latvian Museum of Photography will be on until August 19. Sincere thanks to my sponsors - State Culture Capital Foundation, Zuzeum, Brīnumziediņš, Sidra darītava Abuls.

 

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"Shadow Fixation" at Perspective Gallery

Co-curated by Christopher Schneberger and Stephanie Taiber, "Shadow Fixation" is on view at Perspective Gallery in Evanston until January 28, 2017.

Light sensitive materials – film and paper – can grasp and hold the shadow. They can be transparent windows to transport the viewer through the photographer’s lens and to a scene. Most photography is exactly this. The mat and glass, the surface of the paper, are not meant to be noticed but rather to be portals and panes, as unnoticed as possible. Yet these things are materials after all, and some photographic artists have dared to make the viewer aware of them, as if deliberately smearing or breaking the window, or putting the window on a pedestal all by itself. In the late 1980s, Mike and Doug Starn intentionally creased, scratched, and taped their prints together, forming multi-tychs in which a single image might span across dozens of small prints. This newly divided view thus made the window as important as the vista.

This exhibition showcases the work of five artists who further challenge and deconstruct the medium and its materials. Doug Fogelson makes images of cameras, but not by photographing with any camera. They are color photograms which record the shadows and contours of vintage cameras set below the enlarger in the darkroom. Julie Weber addresses the transitory nature of the light sensitive material by allowing the photo paper, exposed prior to or during the exhibition, to slowly reveal and wash away the latent unfixed image. Jaclyn Wright takes 4x5” film holders, generally meant to protect film from light, and artfully ruins their intended function with laser cuts that produce overlapping patterns and tonalities. Juan Fernandez also uses the form of the photogram (exposure of paper with white light and no negative) to depict three dimensional objects like icosahedrons with the precision of a draftsman and the texture of an intaglio print. And Elina Ruka, through the gestures of curling, warping, overlapping, and cascading film transparencies, contemplates the ever-changing nature of water and the malleability of image - its form and meaning.

With these approaches, the artists question the very processes and substrates of the photographic medium. They make the window a part of the view.

I'm showing a new piece "All the Waves Belong to the Sea", 2017 and "Uncontainable Compromises", 2016.

Aint-Bad Magazine no.12: Curator's Choice

Fifteen curators. Thirty-one photographers. This issue is pure collaboration. The final result is a beautiful, hand-curated publication of the best contemporary photography in existence today. 

My work from series "Aqueous" was chosen by Ann Jastrab, thank you! 

Photo Lucida's Critical Mass 2017 Finalist

Happy to have made to Photo Lucida's Critical Mass 2017 200 list.

Some of the juror's comments about my "Aqueous" series:

- Your inspired experimentation and abundant originality are well met by the beautiful colors and designs of your images.

- Beautiful. Window within windows provide a visual delight and the transparencies make the water feel more present.

- Love the tactile experimentation of this series! Good to see the few installation shots on your website - this work very interactive, would be great to see it in a large-scale environmental exhibit.

- I love this series, there is something really disorienting and modern about them.

- The image 'Relativity' is very good. The image appears to peel back layers of the environment making various state of its nature visible to us in one moment, moving the viewer from calm to anger and back. It is unique in this particular selection of prints with a visual communication that is engaging, graphic and artistic at the same moment.

- Some interesting and effective ways of capturing and presenting water.

- Excellent execution, bravo! Intriguing and compelling. Love the work!

- The thing I find most compelling about your work is the use of layering techniques via transparencies. It is not something I have seen done often and I enjoy having to stop and really try to figure out what is happening in these images. Seeing the work installed really added another dimension of interest for me. I really love the corner installation of the wavy transparency print.

- Strong images, I like what's going on with the layering and transparencies.