Currently on view:
Amelia Bauer \ Morgan Barrie \ Binh Danh \ Laura Plageman \ Anastasia Samoloyva \ Griselda San Martin \ Rachel Sussman \ Kimberlee Venable \ Donna J Wan \ Letha Wilson
Curated by Millee Tibbs
November 16 - December 15, 2018
Whitdel Arts, 1111 Bellevue St, Suite 110, Detroit, MI 48207
Open Saturdays through December 15, 12-3pm
LANDED explores contemporary landscape photography through the work of present-day image makers who confront the mythology of these spaces and challenge the gendered and colonial history of this practice.
Landscape is a highly-charged symbol at the service of specific ideologies, representing the projected identity and desires of those who use it. While it can produce delight in the viewer, it can also naturalize power relations, and erase history and legibility. Uninhabited and seemingly uninhabitable sublime vistas fortify imperialist fantasies, mythologize sexual differentiation, and fuel expansionist machinations. The artists in this exhibition confront and undermine the heroic Westernized gaze upon the landscape to disrupt our expectation of a romanticized ideal.
Amelia Bauer’s work is a series of discrete investigations into our cultural conceptions of the natural world. She examines her surroundings -- particularly the deserts of Northern New Mexico and the forests of Central New York -- through a lens of history and mythology. Aesthetic traditions are repositioned to create spaces that exist somewhere between our fears of the uncultivated wild and our romanticism of the “virgin” landscape.
Anastasia Samoylova's Landscape Sublime project explores the connection between the natural environment and its representation through photography. She constructs temporary assemblages out of internet-sourced images that she re-photographs with a digital camera to produce the final works.
Inspired by by the paintings of the 19th century German romantic landscape painter Casper David Friederich, Donna J Wan employs a visual technique called “ruckenfigür” - painting people from behind to allow the viewer to project him/herself into the scene before him/her and experience the landscape vicariously. By obscuring the identities of the people in her photographs, she offers the viewer a similar experience - to imagine themselves in these overwhelming, calming, peculiar, mundane, social or lonely depictions of the landscape.
Griselda San Martin photographs the wall along the Mexican American border. The wall functions as a backdrop to the dramas it instigates.
Kimberlee Venable creates photographic installations that are at once uncanny and familiar while denying photography's specificity. The work becomes a stand-in for our relationship to the ocean and the vastness of the world at large.
Focused on the materiality of the photographic print, Laura Plageman's works oscillate between image and object, photography and sculpture, landscape and still life. Each piece is a “response” to an original image that is sculpted and collaged into a tabletop assemblage and then re-photographed. The final prints hover between being illusory and tangible, seemingly impossible but showing evidence of their actual construction.
Using architecture and three-dimensionality as both frame and armature, Letha Wilson reclaims the photographic image, exploring the medium’s inability to encompass the site it represents.
Morgan Barrie's work explores this built aspect of the environment by following the same basic structure as millefleur tapestries. Each work is assembled flower by flower so that the final image contains dozens of individual photographs. Native species mix with non-native and even invasive plants, as do human and animal elements.
Rachel Sussman photographs the oldest living things in the world. The work spans disciplines, continents, and millennia: it’s part art and part science, has an innate environmentalism, and is underscored by an existential incursion into Deep Time.
Bihn Dahn uses photography's oldest iteration: the daguerreotype. Through the highly reflective surface of polished copper, Danh's images encourage the viewer to see themselves in the land - to become part of the land and merge with it.
Darryl DeAngelo Terrell
Curated by Millee Tibbs and Eleanor Oakes
September 30 – November 18, 2017
Using photography and video, the work of these artists is a celebration of the complexity of the self, exploring how individuals self-identify in tension with how they are viewed by others, and offers a contemporary discussion of vulnerability through representation. Addressing issues such as race and gender, these artists ask viewers to examine their own prejudicial bias or stereotypes, while providing reference points for the extremities of these complex systems, such as mass-incarceration.
This exhibition is sponsored by edWeb.net, a free professional learning network that encourages educators to connect and collaborate to improve teaching and learning. Cosponsors include Our/Detroit Vodka, Hostel Detroit and Grand On River.
Darryl DeAngelo Terrell (b. 1991) is a queer African-American artist whose primary practice is photography. Currently based in Detroit, Terrell received an MFA in Photography at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a BA from Wayne State University. Darryl’s work deals with body image, black masculinity, queer identity, and the black family structure. Pulling from influences he observed growing up on the Eastside of Detroit, Michigan, Darryl’s work is also a reflection of popular culture traversed through media such as music, movies, and other similarly related sources.
Kris Graves (b. 1982 New York, NY) is a photographer and publisher based in New York and London. He received his BFA in Visual Arts from S.U.N.Y. Purchase College and has been published and exhibited globally, including the National Portrait Gallery in London, England; Aperture Gallery, New York; University of Arizona, Tucson; Blue Sky Gallery in Portland, Oregon; Bryn Mawr College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania; among others.
Amy Elkins (b .1979 Venice, CA) is a photographer currently based in the Greater Los Angeles area. She received her BFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. She has been exhibited and published both nationally and internationally, including at Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna, Austria; the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, AZ; Aperture Gallery and Yancey Richardson Gallery in New York, among others. She was awarded the Aperture Prize and the Latitude Artist-in-Residence in 2014 and The Peter S. Reed Foundation Grant in 2015. Elkins' first book "Black is the Day, Black is the Night" was Shortlisted for the 2017 Mack First Book Award, the 2016 Paris Photo Aperture Foundation Photobook Prize and listed as one of the Best Photobooks of 2016 by TIME, Humble Arts Foundation, Photobook Store Magazine and Photo-Eye among others.
Kia LaBeija (b.1990) is a multidisciplinary artist born and raised in New York City. Her work explores the intersections of community, politics, fine art and activism. As a visual artist she stages digital portraits as theatrical and cinematic re-imaginings of non fictional events to spark conversation, complicating the way we view her subjects and the spaces they occupy. Her Portraiture utilizes the medium of story telling, to preserve histories, and make sociopolitical commentaries on current events. Currently she is a featured artist in Art, AIDS, America, a controversial touring exhibition investigating 30 years of art made in response to the AIDS epidemic. Artists include Keith Haring, Annie Leibovitz, Nan Goldin and Robert Mapplethorp. Kia is the only representation of a female artist of color living with and born with HIV in the show.
Jacob Krupnick is a director and photographer working on commercial and documentary films. His work with dancers and athletes transforms their movement into unique and cinematic stories. Krupnick's 2012 feature debut, Girl Walk // All Day screened at over 30 film festivals, including events at SxSW, Bonaroo, Dia Art Foundation, Mass MOCA, and the Munich Film Festival.