You All Fell For My Act

Sady, 2010

You All Fell For My Act
27 August – 16 October 2011 
Opening: 26 August 2011, 19:00 – 23:00
Media and Moving Art. Rotterdam, The Netherlands

I am happy to announce my inclusion in an international show titled You All Fell For My Act at Media and Moving Art (MAMA) in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. I will have four pieces from Technically Intimate in the show (Megan, Heidi and John, Lexi, and Sady). Artists will include Kalup Linzy (US, 1977), Jamie Warren (US, 1980), Renée van Trier (NL, 1983), Evan Baden (US, 1985), Mark Callahan (US, 1971).

You All Fell For My Act is an international group exhibition about the way in which we relate ourselves to idealised images of a prevailing norm. The participating artists mainly use lens based media to show emerging tendencies of how we present ourselves on a global stage. This approach is informed by the wealth of different platforms to stage yourself as an individual: TV talent shows, social media, YouTube, but also city photography and fashion blogs. Whilst the individual performs the implication is that the world is watching.

The artists in this exhibition play, in different ways, with these emerging phenomena. Evan Baden shows young girls who make photos of themselves in their bedrooms whilst posing in front of a webcam. The photographic work of Jamie Warren is more theatrical; she dresses in a carnivalesque way contrasting her looks with her surroundings. In Kalup Lenzy’s videos he plays with his own identity by adopting different roles in a soap opera, which he then acts on camera. As such, the artists in this exhibition play with the way a prevailing ideal or standard affects the behavior of people. By transgressing the boundaries between real and fake, and between public and private we see the variability and changeability of identity.

The Exhibition You All Fell For My Act has been produced and curated by the second intake of participants of MAMA’s Rookies MA. In 2009 the first intake of the Rookies MA presented their exhibition For Security Reasons. Through the Rookies MA course (the successor of Mr. Miyagi Curating Tomorrow course) aspiring young curators are given the opportunity to realize and create an exhibition from start to finish. Under the guidance of MAMA’s staff and a variety of local and international guest lecturers the rookies MA course teaches many important aspects of curatorship including: fundraising, liaising with artists, communication, exhibition design, set-up and take down of exhibition, up to and including a final evaluation.

About Media and Moving Art:

MAMA (1997) is a project by the Public Art Squad Foundation and is situated in Rotterdam. MAMA is a platform for visual culture on the cutting edge of visual arts and popular culture and serves as a home base for the youngest generation of producers of images, artists and an audience aged between 16 and 26. MAMA produces exhibitions, books and magazines, organizes performances and events, presents and represents young artists at home and abroad and is part of an international network of like-minded organizations.

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Untitled (I Get Around)

Untitled (I Get Around)

I have been thinking about a new body of work for months now. Actually, it’s been almost a year. Now I am heading back to school, and I will begin to go full steam with this new body of work. Picking up from Technically Intimate, I will be looking further into how youth culture’s learned sexual behaviors have been shaped by popular culture and how the porn industry has played an integral role in that shaping.

I would also like to take a closer look at how feminism has changed over the last 30 years, from a sense of female empowerment to a willingness and want by young women to be seen as a sexual object. I happen to feel there is a difference between female sexual empowerment and simply being in Playboy. They are not one and the same.

I have begun writing (soon to be posted) and currently have 60 images that I want to shoot. That should take me the next three years or so. The imagery will take on many different looks and I am hoping to get a really wide variety. I am still taking a lot of cues from the imagery that I am finding online. I will use those images as a base to jump off of.

Way back in February, I shot this image. This particular image takes a look at the Victoria’s Secret PINK brand, which I find of particular interest.

Right now my head is still spinning with all of the elements that I want to include in this body of work. I am slowly but surely beginning to refine them.

More to come…

Paraty Em Foco Workshop

Advertisement for Paraty Em Foco

In September I will be traveling to Paraty, Brazil to participate in the Paraty Em Foco Photography Festival. I am quite excited as I have never been to South America. I am hoping there will be some time to see Rio, and I will bring my Polaroid camera along for the ride. I will be there for the entire festival, which runs from the 21st of September through the 25th. I will be involved with two events while there.

First, I will be giving a lecture about my past and current work. I am excited because this will be the first that I get to speak in public about my third series. I am mostly in the planning stages at this point, but hope to be a little further by the time the festival rolls around. There will also be an interview section to the lecture. The interview will be conducted by Felipe Russo, a young Brazilian Photographer. His blog can be found here.

I will also be giving a workshop during the festival. I didn’t want to do a shooting workshop. Mostly because shooting is a very small part of any project for me. Plus, I think it would be pretty boring to stand around and watch me shoot a staged image. So instead I will be focusing on how to research, write about, and plan an extended body of work. Then, after that work is created, how to market it and get it shown around the world. The workshop has already sold out, however, I believe we will be adding more spots as there is still some demand. That was somewhat of a surprise to me.

The image above is the first advertisement for the Festival, whose topic this year is “The Future”. More info can be found here.

McKnight Fellowship Talks

Over the last two Thursday evenings I have attended the talks given by the current holders of the McKnight Fellowship for Photography.

In the past, the Fellowship exhibition and talk came two years after the Fellowship had been awarded, even though the Fellowship only lasted a year. In the future, the Fellows will exhibit their work and talk about it at the end for the Fellowship year, which is much more appropriate.

Scott Stulen from mnartists.org

This year, the new organizers (mnartists.org) decided to hold two simultaneous shows and talks so that they could catch up. That means that there were eight artists giving their talks this year instead of the usual four. The Walker hosted these talks over the past two Thursdays.

Out of all eight artists, I found Paul Shambroom’s recent work the most intriguing. I was a big fan of his Meetings series from a few years ago. He has always had a political twist to his work, which I think is why I am drawn to it. However, what was of particular interest to me was how he researched his current project (Shrines) and how similar it was to what I had done for Technically Intimate. Paul was searching for pieces of military technology that had been bought and placed in public spaces. These were done mostly as memorials. He was interested in the idea of using a weapon of destruction as a memorial to those who had died in war, as a result of weapons very similar to those that were memorializing them.

Paul Shambroom

Understandably, he did not want to drive all over the country searching for interesting sites to photograph. So he used the vast resource that is the Internet. He would search on Flickr for photos that had been taken of military memorials. He would then use Google Earth to check out the site before he visited. He also used Google Earth to map out all of the locations for possible photos.

Paul Shambroom

What is interesting to me, both with Paul’s research and my own, is that a vast majority of the project is actually research done online, then a small part of the project is the actual shooting, followed by some post production and printing. Without the Internet, my own work would not be possible (because my subject matter would not exist) and Paul’s would have been much more difficult to have made.

The current exhibitions of McKnight Fellows include: Paul Shambroom, Lex Thomson, Carrie Thomson, Monica Haller, Chuck Avery, Amy Eckert, Gina Dabrowski, and Karl Raschke. The exhibits are being held at Midway Contemporary Art and Franklin Art Works and are up until July 24th.

Neural Magazine is out now.

A while back I did an interview with Alessandro Ludovico about my Illuminati and Technically Intimate series for the Italian magazine Neural. That interview appears in the Multiplied Identities issue, which is on sale now. The magazine deals primarily with technology based/related art. I was pleasently surprised to find my image Megan from the Technically Intimate series on the cover. The magazine (or subscriptions) can be purchased here. Or if you just want to go and take a look at it, here is the international list of the places (magazine shops and libraries) that carry it. Enjoy!

Virtual Identities at the Strozzina

Images of the Virtual Identities show are up at the Strozzina are up. I have six pieces from the Illuminati series in the show. You can see my whole little page, as well as all the other artists in the show, on their website here. Photos from the catalog are here.