Thursday, September 17, 2009
Roof Top Wedding
copyright Robin Schwartz
I started a new position this fall teaching photography at William Paterson University, which means I am making a trek on a bus from Port Authority twice a week to a green and lush campus in northern New Jersey. Full-time faculty member, Robin Schwartz, and I are teaching concurrent intro digital photo courses - sharing notes and transitioning the photo program into the digital era.
Robin and I are also both currently exhibiting photographs in the annual faculty exhibition in the Ben Shahn Court Gallery on campus. I first became familiar with Robin's work when she and Elinor Carucci gave presentations as featured artists in a panel discussion about Women in Photography led by founders, Cara Phillips and Amy Elkins, last fall at Aperture. Robin's highly imaginative and eccentric images depict her daughter, Amelia, interacting with exotic animals such as kangaroos, elephants, hairless dogs and cats, and various primates. Robin takes her "circus family" on tour of the country to find these strange creatures - recently, a trip to Texas in the heavy August heat to rendezvous with some monkeys. Her third monograph, Amelia's World, was published in 2008 by Aperture, and some of her images from this series were included in the newly released photo book, Hijaked: Volume One, which incorporates work by contemporary Australian and American photographers.
I had the pleasure of meeting the star of the photos a few weeks ago, and Amelia is as charming and magical in person as she appears in her animal kingdom. She showed me a small turtle shell and a lifeless mouse that she had discovered on one of their journeys, and I gather that there are more than a few living creatures at their home in Hoboken.
Ben Shahn Court Gallery
William Paterson University
September 14 - October 16