curated & designed by Riana Gideon
Anika Am Rebecca Arthur Angelica Bergamini Ellen Bjerborn Sarah C Blanchette Nell Breyer Caitlin Chung Vedrana Devic Kenyssa Evans Ray Ewing Emily Hoerdemann Ethan Johnson
CJ Joseph Sophie Kahn Yvette Kaiser Smith Maki Kaoru Jacklynn Kelsey Doi Kim June Kim Stephanie Kropp Elisabeth Ligonnet Lam Anthoula Lelekidis Sarah Liss Daniel Loveday
cover image: Maki Kaoru, “Lost in Gaze”
Cara Lynch Jack Maffucci Patrick O’Hare Debra Ramsay Thomas H Ribas Jess Saldaña Joey Solomon Adam Thorman Shelli Weiler April Wen Julia Westerbeke Teona Yamanidze
Fragments of Diaspora centers around the theme of identity, migration, and the desire to uncover oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s roots. The lives of diaspora are filled with nostalgia, a deep yearning for home and the need to create a life away from it. With a deep interest in the archive, I alter found family photos to interpret a deeper tie to my heritage and uncover ancestral roots within the blank spaces of recollection. By combining fragments of my photographs together with personal family imagery, I reassemble and rework a new collection of memories. My process is not planned or controlled and includes tearing apart prints then combining them again. These physical rips begin to resemble the splitting of families who fled from their homeland due to war or poverty. Many of these images depict symbols of cultural traditions and family bonds as well as feelings of displacement and isolation. This investigation, and the need for an individualized story, act as a meditation between the realm of post-memory and realization.
Ray Ewing Looking For a Picture of My Father represents the beginnings of an extended, research-based project concerning my father and his time in Japan in the 1970s. My father passed away in 1995 when I was quite young. I have always felt the main thing I lost was the chance to know him from an adult perspective. Through letters, postcards, and old photographs I am rebuilding a long-forgotten period of his life so that I may build a portrait of him and make amends in the confines of the project. I feel that I can better see him through the lens of his interaction with a new place and culture. His mistakes, biases, and misunderstandings from197374 are my window into a parent I never knew.
“Yea-Ming and Doc”, Oakland, CA, 2020
This project consists of social distancing portraits of my friends through their windows shot during the coronavirus “shelter-in-place” order in March 2020 in the San Francisco Bay Area, primarily in Oakland, CA. These portraits speak to the twin feelings of connection and distance we are all experiencing during this time as we connect with people in whatever ways we can without actually coming into contact.
Maki Kaoru I explore how perceptual experience relates to the act of gazing. I am interested in natural phenomena, which calls for the immediate response of gaze. Because it’s the ephemeral nature of the gaze, the moment of perceiving the experience of gazing becomes even more fleeting than the act itself. After all, the gaze is no longer seeing through eyes but experiencing it through seeing. Windows are seductive and deceptive. While a window glass separates inside from outside architecturally, it alienates subject from object, which creates a paradoxical illusion. The reflection in a window, which produces an inverse of the image, further deceives. Such perceptual shifts are characteristic of my creative practice, which destabilizes the viewer’s notion of visual reality.
“Between Mirrors”, 2015
“Cherished Isolation”, 2020 I think my job as an artist or photographer is to disrupt peace. I want to live in a world where it is no longer acceptable to leave those who are different in the shadows. My vision is to focus on identity and self-expression through different techniques used in photography. As I navigate the world, I try to capture what I feel is important and relates to all identities. Intersectionality plays an essential role in how I see the world. Whether I’m shooting film or digital, I want to create photos that move people to see an outside perspective.
April Wen Hong Lu (The Year I Saw My Mother) is a collection of film photographs of my mother, Hong Lu, taken in 2013 and developed a year later. The collection was born out of a reflection on my immediate family history: the year I turned 18, I began taking analog photos as a way to physically document a life that for my parents, was archivally interrupted upon immigrating to America.
Reflection within the photos themselves happens in my motherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tendency to see herself in mirrored spaces, inside and out. These mirrors are often fractured in two, sometimes distorted, sometimes in places where faces - painted, printed, physically present - are already doing the work of splitting. My motherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s physical and emotional duality come to the fore in these moments, through gestures, considerations, and expressions of ambivalence.
As a Black American, my Black identity has always been at the forefront of how I present myself to the world, and my ‘Blackness’ has continuously been the subject of my photographs. During my time in Paris, France, as a Fullbright scholar, I noticed the difference in the way the French apprehend identity compared to Americans. As a result, my identity has been shattered and reshaped. Throughout our history, many stories of Black people and families have been lost in archives - never to be seen or mislabeled to conceal something. I’ve come to recognize the importance of documenting and preserving our history, stories and physical affective gazes. Through dialogue and photographical storytelling, I want to understand the dichotomy between the ways race and identity function cross-culturally and gather an idea of how descendants connect or disconnect us from our sense of self and belonging.
Jack Maffucci It Wasn’t the Fog I Mindedis a series of excerpts from a family’s life. The connotation of “home” is almost always good. However, a home’s intentions may not be. A home is a place of reckoning, the space where we confront our true selves. It sees us in our most vulnerable form and protects us when we have broken down into pieces smaller than our fingers can pick up. Inside of a home, we take shelter from the fog. But there is no shelter if the fog is coming from within.
Stephanie Kropp “And now: it is easy to forget what I came for among so many who have always lived here swaying their crenellated fans between the reefs and besides you breathe differently down here. I came to explore the wreck. The words are purposes. The words are maps. I came to see the damage that was done and the treasures that prevail. I stroke the beam of my lamp slowly along the flank of something more permanent than fish or weed the thing I came for: the wreck and not the story of the wreck the thing itself and not the myth the drowned face always starting toward the sun the evidence of damage worn by salt and sway into this threadbare beauty the ribs of the disaster curving their assertion among the tentative haunters.” Diving Into The Wreck by Adrienne Rich.
“A Weaving of Mom”, 2020
Caitlin Chung The Sphere of Life (2016-2020) visualizes the excavation of various intersections and bifurcations of my Korean-American identity and culture through the backdrop of my domestic sphere. For four years, I have dug through the intricate layers of my family portraitâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;introducing new narratives and taking away old ones to break apart the image of family that was enforced upon and created for me. The construction of this multi-narrative storyline became a medium for me to open conversations about the challenges that come with a bi-cultural upbringing in a conservative Asian household. My home has always been a battleground for me. It is where Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve not only tackled my worst enemies but also where I was introduced to them. From gender roles to religious values, this series tackles the often unspoken foundations of the institution of family.
This body of work was created for the Everson Museum Project. The source material for the paintings are documentary photos taken by Scandinavian photographer Christer Strömholm in Hiroshima in 1963, about 18 years after a nuclear bomb was detonated over Hiroshima. That Day Now: «Shadows cast by Hiroshima» is a direct reflection on the current crisis in the world.
Coming from a Scandinavian country and being white, I havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t often faced xenophobia in the U.S. Instead, in making conversation and meeting someone new, I find myself in an uncanny valley where it takes a few sentences for someone to pick up on an accent. Once itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s revealed that I am a foreigner, I feel a sense of having betrayed someone. Moving abroad has been incredibly lonely, especially living in New York City where you can be anonymous forever, if you like. Air Pressure reflects on themes of isolation, loneliness, and vulnerability.
Kenyssa Evans Else/Where holds a playful and serious undertone on the surveillance of Blackness that hinges on a dance of hiding and revealing through photography and sculpture. The space exhibits how power structures are shifting with the change of oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s position and limitations, and it simultaneously unveils how conditions of privacy and observation are generated through the materials one is surrounded by. The fleeting fragmented porch that plays up the spatial and theoretical relationship between our physical world and imaginary perceptions mobilizes a critique of racializing surveillance. This form of unconscious freedom re-imagines how blackness shifts, morphs and embodies technology to combat oppression and surveillance. A double-sided door limits you to what could be explored, while a transbluency figure confronts you. The free-standing real physical objects dissolve in plaster, comprising a representation of that object. Spray-painted with shades of blue, the objects operate as a metaphor of solemnity, distance, and fluidity. Moving throughout the space, which in some ways is an ethereal experience, complicates the viewerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s location of their own physical presence. Difficulty to identify personhood and location of the environment has you questioning things that you are familiar with and things that are lurking around, unwilling to reveal themselves.
Surveillance Dome Interventions are an assortment of black and white analog photographs which seek to suggest a bodily relation to visibility/invisibility in our current age of mass surveillance, as well as the collapse of the public and private. The object of the surveillance dome mirror serves as a surface to reflect but also distort, producing a warped, abstracted representation of the surveilled body in relation to it. The use of the analog medium displaces time, as contemporarily we are saturated with digital technologies. The camera in the photographs obscures the photographerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s face, concealing identity from the dome, yet revealing the body at once. These interventions are meant to confound the common function of the surveillance mirror proposing the question: what happens when the surveilled stare back? The photos shift the gaze of the surveillance mechanism into becoming the viewed. The work serves as a critique of this kind of representation, as well as a reproduction of it.
Baroque Studies consists of silkscreen printed leathers and mirrors. The mirror in the center refers to the Baroque play. If the theater is a reflection of the world, will the mirror amplify the illusion of the play, or will it reflect the audience facing the stage? The mirror serves as a medium to invite viewers to contemplate and approach a truth beyond the two realities: the relationship between the stage and the spectator. Repeated patterns printed on leather conjure up another baroque ideal, a fractal structure in which parts reflect the whole. Digital reproductions of the works are made to maximize the immersive and immaterial experience. Through this work, I seek forms of artistic expression by reinterpreting Baroque art.
My work addresses the resonances of death in the still image. It owes its fragmented aesthetic to the interaction of new and old media, and the collision of the body with imaging technology. I combine cutting-edge means of reproduction, like 3d laser scanning and 3d printing, with ancient bronze casting techniques. Using damaged 3d data, I create sculptures and prints that resemble de-constructed monuments or memorials. The precise 3d scanning technology I use was never designed to capture the body, which is always in motion. When confronted with a moving body, it receives conflicting spatial coordinates, generating a 3d â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;motion blurâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. From these scans, I create videos or 3d printed molds for bronze sculptures. The resulting sculptures bear the artifacts of all the digital processes they have been though. The scanning and 3d printing process strips color and movement from the body, leaving behind only traces of its form â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a scan of the face resembles nothing more than a digital death mask.
â&#x20AC;&#x153;untitled (quarantine)â&#x20AC;?, 2020
This image relates to current events; I made the work while under quarantine from being exposed to COVID-19, and it is an attempt to express, in a reflection, how the idea of self-imposed solitude can impact oneself.
â&#x20AC;&#x153;Reflection forgetful of itselfâ&#x20AC;?, 2019 This piece exemplifies time and the presence of my hand in concert with painting tools and liquid paint. The colors and gestures are markers of time, change and place. The paintings are unintentionally informed by and distillations of views of the ever-changing patterns of water currents and clouds I observe out my studio window overlooking the East River. The making of paintings is a process of accumulating lessons. A ground layer of interference in paint shifts the colors the viewer sees, making the artwork dynamic; reminding us life is always changing. Counter to what the viewer sees, the interference pigments are colorless; it is their ability to bend light that causes a viewer to perceive a color thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not really there. The devotion to a practice that is ongoing and with no particular use feels important during a time of political unrest and social chaos.
There are vast and incomprehensible scales of human movement occurring around the planet in 2020: the devastating spread of a viral contagion tailing our travel between continents, countries, regions, neighborhoods and tables; 65 million displaced refugees; global protests; marches; migrations; civil and cyber warfare. The ancient and recurring movement patterns now unfold with the force of billions on the planet - increasingly destructive, cataclysmic, and still human.
I am currently making mirrors, windchimes, aromatherapy machines, and lamps. They are tools by which I attempt to understand my existence, solidify my understanding of the world, or gain power over my experience. I make functional objects as a way to express my own aspirations for purpose and to cope with perpetual conditions of longing. I am reviving a sense of the mystical in the everyday as a response to the instability and uncertainty of the present.
Yvette Kaiser Smith
I am an artist who uses numbers. I create geometric abstractions by using sequences derived from the numbers pi and e, prime numbers, Pascalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Triangle, grids and repetition of simple geometric shapes as tools in devising systems for mapping and visualizing numerical values by which I can create new and uncommon patterns. Majority of my past works are wallbased, geometric, crocheted fiberglass constructions. In 2016, I was introduced to a laser cutter and have since focused on developing a body of wall-based works, using laser-cut acrylic sheets separated by vinyl spacers. Here, simple geometric shapes, panel placement, cut-outs and/or engraved lines plot numerical values.
â&#x20AC;&#x153;e Palindrome (8281828)â&#x20AC;?, 2018
Elisabeth Ligonnet Lam
Like diary entires, my photos are an ode to the environments that I move through and the people who inhabit them. They all display personal, specific events or scenes of my life. They are all powered by nostalgia, whimsical storytelling and introspection. I believe that the personal is historical. These photos are my rendition of bigger events and therefore, my own history.
A succession of scenes exploring shards of city, suburban and rural settings, various interiors, still lifes and fleeting moments, Ellipses aspires to a sense of fragmented harmony. It sharply observes the everyday and the uncommon, splitting their differences into something more elusive and open-ended without surrendering to seamlessness. Invoking a constant state of transition, it attempts to find something luminous through the breeches, gaps, reflections and broken mirrors of existence.
Shelli Weiler Fabulations intimately looks into the mobilization of persona through transaction and play, using portraiture to document the nuances of female intervention unto domestic space. Borrowing freely from the visual languages of drag and cinematography, these photographs humanely question collective assumptions on gendered performance and the fixity of identity. As a result, the images re-contextualize the incongruity between self and physicality by focusing on the private experience of oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s body versus the public, tragicomic reality of inhabiting it. Attentive to the cumbersome body and the myriad of social roles it performs, this work centralizes the interaction between fantasy and display such that the parameter of fantasy shifts towards the desire to be noticed. As a result, the series participates in autobiographyfiction, presenting a subjective world of chance encounters through the singularity of solitary experience.
â&#x20AC;&#x153;Vincent Bunniesâ&#x20AC;?, 2018
As a queer woman who grew up without exposure to LGBTQ identities, I am particularly interested in language as a tool of self-understanding. Labels define boundaries between the self and other and allow us to authenticate our experiences. I find myself playing dress-up in search of a comfortable fit. My gender is worn like a favorite coat. A sewistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pattern pieces divide the body into a silhouette meant for duplication, however, like any portrait, label, or garment, the pattern is an imperfect mirror. It neither fits everyone nor conforms perfectly to the wearer. Through this process of scrutiny and comparison a new, altered body is made: a discomforting tangle of seams that, like a doll, reaches beyond portraiture to claim a presence of its own.
Thomas H Ribas
Form and geometry inspire me to consider alternate effects steeped in our contemporary object-based culture. I am drawn to the tension of intersections both materially and conceptually. Focusing my attention on the interstitial spaces of identity, reality, and relationships, I explore various embedded experiences. By calling into being a visual dialogue between the digital and the analog, my work invites a moment of pause and relief in the suspended zone of ambiguity. The energy of this zone is maximized, intensified, and inhabited.
As I experience the end of an age, everything feels as if it is fleeting. Things that I normally find mundane hold a new significance. I sit with the fact that in merely a few months, the connections Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve made with the people I grew closest to will be changed. I feel that it is important to document myself while this is happening. The idea of stability becomes mythological, and everything I experience comes like a fever dream. Common motifs in my work are eyes, mirrors, reflections, the human figure, flowers, strange colors, all of which are used to form this warped perception on time, and the strangeness of human experience.
â&#x20AC;&#x153;Omenâ&#x20AC;?, 2020 In the beginning, I made art to release creative energy. It was focused on the activity of making and catharthis. In my early twenties I faced unfortunate events and endured pain. As I became aware of my own traumas and started to discover myself, my art became a site of recovery. My work is inspired by my own personal difficulties, the intensity of feelings, flashbacks, and dreams.
Inspired by natural and biological systems with a nod to entropy, the Afterimage series features semi-abstract, mirrored images that are flawed, fraying and falling to pieces. Minute punctures in paper create ghosts of imagery, a looking-glass effect that inverts the negative to positive. They are meditative works that speak to slowness and the deep state the mind can enter through simple repetition. Above all, a celebration of our entropic state. Taking inspiration from science fiction and biological forms, I build intricate surfaces that pay homage to the complexities of organic life as well as its ceaseless regeneration, flux and decay. Ultimately, the work speaks to our warped yet loving relationship with nature.
â&#x20AC;&#x153;Photo Intervention 13-2â&#x20AC;?, 2017 This work is a breakdown of the female as object and symbol of femininity. Collage elements are culled from fashion magazines, advertisements, and contemporary art auction catalogs. The fragmented photographs, absent of their identity, paired with anthropomorphic objects, organic cascading elements, and abstracted artworks by other artists are meant to address authorship, cultural curation, and sexual objectification. Without being overly sentimental, the collage captures the feeling of both glamour and despair, while maintaining a tenderness and composure.
Sarah C Blanchette My work is heavily rooted in identity - both in the physical space and the internet space. Through repetitive acts of hand/ machine sewing and physical manipulations of the self portrait, I document my coming of age in a digital world while embarking on a journey towards growth and autonomy in womanhood.
â&#x20AC;&#x153;You look like you lost weight. Ladies love hearing that!â&#x20AC;?, 2019
Each of my photographs within this project are grasps at visual examples of hereditary gene passing and symptoms of mental illnesses that are shared by blood but intangible. I look to acknowledge internal dissonance and cope by using my photography to grasp what symptoms of my internal ADHD, PTSD, anxiety and depressive disorders may look like in the various stages of my daily triumphs and emotional defeats. Interestingly, I feel as though I am able to detail my experience as a human living with multiple dueling mental illnesses far better through my work, photographing externally and finding images of myself within the external. If nothing else, my work serves to affirm a learning process in our tender and dysfunctional species.
My works are a meditation on the search for balance between the inner and outer world. They are a reflection on the universality of the human experience, and the necessity for a radical reverence for life. Interested in what is beyond the conscious mind, I use my artistic research as a free-form exploration of the pool of knowledge that the unconscious represents. Inspired by the process of individuation described by Carl Jung, I try to articulate a study of my inner world and my identity in flux while exploring the relationship between the personal and collective unconscious. I am more interested in imagery and practice than theory to create a bridge between the unconscious and the conscious mind, in search of a more holistic view of the self and the world.
â&#x20AC;&#x153;Will you fight or will you danceâ&#x20AC;?, 2010
â&#x20AC;&#x153;Deer Hunterâ&#x20AC;?, 2014
I photograph my wolf-like dogs to express ideas of womanhood, identity, and spirituality. In addition, it is a way for me to connect to the natural world and claim the power of being a woman.
â&#x20AC;&#x153;Dear Dodgeâ&#x20AC;?, 2017
Dear Dodge is a body of work that documents my Grandmother who is now 96 years of age. She spends her days confined to her house having now lost her independence to disability. This work makes up a chapter in a larger body of work that documents the people of a group of towns called the Medway.
Photograph by Mina Gurkan