Saturday, December 17, 2011
Field of Sad Trees, 2008
One of my photographs, Field of Sad Trees, was published in the Design Observer/Places accompanying a poem by Amy Beeder, author of Burn the Field and Now Make the Altar and professor of poetry at the University of New Mexico. Country Life is poem about Eastern European immigrants in the American Midwest.
Thank you to Places editor and friend Josh Wallaert for making the connection between my image and her words.
Country Life, by Amy Beeder
They came for land. For hog-high wheat to Dixon, Weeping Water, Garland Falls;
came to Midland hamlets, made their farms from bogs & marshes,
fens & bottomland: immigrants from Kraków, Darkov, Lasko
who fled famine, coming wars, or the Eastern factories, left
the city rivers thick with indigo & slaughter’s crimson, tenement
air: TB & boiled tubers, fled the bellows & gutter cast, sawdust & accident;
left forever what Riis called the strip of smoke-colored sky so that
their children’s children might grow up corn-fed, reverent,
thrifty; that they might join 4-H & raise lambs, might
crochet & macramé; might play the clarinet or their fathers’ accordions, always
optimistic despite the blizzards & drought, locust & blight.
Where there’s space to push the earth aside: that’s the place
to raise a child — here amid arrival’s plenty: starch & punch in a church basement; even so, a century later their descendants hear another music
over the television, the civics lesson, over the highway’s drone:
a white noise off the flat plain, an echo of the empty well’s temptation,
as if something in them yearns after all for chimney spill, the gritty stink of war,
how else to explain how some came to worship this caustic god,
taking in their bodies his small poison, in abandoned barns & chicken coops:
battery acid, lye, brake cleaner, Sudafed, salt & red sulfur —
Was it to hear clearly the deep corn’s chorus, maybe; maybe
to be nightwind, milkweed, goldenrod, chaos & immersion: to be the intolerable wild unplowed field, to be the one elm black with starlings?
Those whose parents thought they’d never be suppliants, never
wilt or starve — but we’ve seen them in mug shots, baffled
& sallow, broken as those girls in sweatshops going blind,
or the rawboned young Spinner in a Carolina Mill 1901
or the miners’ families evicted, or the garment workers corralled:
faces smeared & scattered as blossoms before the plow; all
catastrophically struck in the light of their own interminable
now, weary, girding themselves, helpless before the lens.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Congratulations to four artists presented in culturehall's Fall 2011 New Artist Feature Issue: Livia Corona, Mandy Cano Villalobos, Justin Gainin, and Elliot Wright.
Applications for our Winter 2012 New Artists Feature open in mid-January.
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Cruz, aka Jalessa, Columbus, OH, 2007
© Molly Landreth
Friday, November 18, 7pm
at the CCNY studio
336 West 37th Street, Suite 206
Free admission - Seating is limited
CCNY presents a talk with artist Molly Landreth, with an introduction by curator Tema Stauffer on Friday, November 18 at 7pm at the CCNY Studio. Landreth will present both work from the Embodiment: A Portrait of Queer Life in America series, as well as other bodies of work.
This Conversations Series artist talk is held in conjunction with CCNY’s Other Places exhibition, guest curated by Tema Stauffer.
Q & A to follow the talk
“Embodiment: A Portrait of Queer Life in America” is a series of photographs in an archive and a journey through a rapidly changing community and the lives of people who offer brave new visions of what it means to be queer in America today. Stopping in churches, parks, high school classrooms, back yards and bedrooms, I have collaborated with individuals from both urban and rural areas for over six years. With this ever-growing archive of portraits, I aim to highlight a national experience while acknowledging its many diverging, overlapping and at times conflicting parts.
Created as a joint effort with participants who boldly stand in front of my lens, “Embodiment” reveals images of love and survival, the process of growing into one’s self, creative forms of gender expression and the ever-changing anatomy of a family. It is my hope that these photographs will become a lasting archive for generations to come.
Molly Landreth is a Seattle-based artist who explores concepts of identity and community by way of intimate large-format film photography and multi-media collaboration. She has been recently featured in the New York Times Magazine, The Guardian, Time Magazine’s Lens Blog and in The Advocate for her work on “queer America.” Landreth holds an MFA in Photography, Video, and Related Media from the School of Visual Arts, New York; and a BA in Studio Art from Scripps College in California. She is faculty at The Photographic Center Northwest and Seattle University. Visit her website at: www.mollylandreth.com
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Two of my photographs, White Horse and Burning Brush, are included in an exhibition curated by Sean Justice at the LiShui Museum in China on view through Spring 2012. Pictures are Words-not-Known presents work by faculty from the International Center of Photography exploring the limits of language-centric knowing in photographs to a Chinese audience.
Culturehall invited artist and educator Sean Justice to feature the portfolios of four exhibiting photographers and new Culturehall members in Feature Issue 80: Pictures are Words-Not-Known. Thank you to Lori Grinker, Abraham McNally, Claudia Sohrens, and Bradly Dever Treadway for sharing their work with Culturehall.
Other participating photographers and ICP faculty include Nelson Bakerman, Marina Berio, Rhona Bitner, Jean-Christian Bourcart, Christine Callahan, Elinor Carucci, Jean Marie Casbarian, Ken Collins, Cecilia Dougherty, Suan kae Grant, Michael Wesley Ham, Curtis Hamilton, Thomas Holton, Bill Jacobson, Susan Jahoda, Sean Justice, Ed Kashi, Joshua Lutz, Jay Manis, Tanya Marcuse, Karen Marshall, Garret Miller, Yola Monakhov, Kambui Olujimi, Sylvia Plachy, and Andreas Rentch.
White Horse and Burning Brush exhibited at the LiShui Museum in China with photographs by ICP Faculty in Pictures are Words-not-Known
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Becoming 10, 2010
© Kerstin Honeit
Other Places / Curated by Tema Stauffer
November 9 - December 10
Camera Club of New York
336 West 37th Street, Suite 206, New York, NY
Opening Reception on Wednesday, November 9, 6- 8pm
The exhibition at the Camera Club of New York stems from Culturehall Feature Issue 60 published online in January 2011. This issue drew connections between contemporary artists whose work in photography focuses on identities, relationships and environments defined by unconventional expressions of sexuality and gender. As the idea of realizing an exhibition of this work at CCNY evolved, the original group of artists expanded.
Other Places brings together different generations of international artists whose photographs contribute to a dialogue about individuals and communities—past and present—existing in social and political margins based on sexuality and sexual identity. A selection of work by five artists from the United States, Mexico and Germany serves as a foundation for examination of each of their larger series and continuing practices.
Los Angeles-based artist Kaucyila Brooke documents the history of lesbian bars in cities and towns across the United States and Europe. This ongoing project, The Boy Mechanic, has been exhibited at galleries and museums around the world throughout the past decade. Other Places includes Brooke’s two-sided offset poster originally produced for exhibition at the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, Germany, depicting photographs of the sites of seventeen former and three current bars, along with narrative descriptions of her encounters with owners and patrons of these establishments. The photographs, videos, maps and text of the larger project create a historical record of lesbian bar culture and assert the significance of these social spaces and the recollections of those who participated in them.
Doug Ischar produced a series of photographs documenting a community of gay men who congregated on a Chicago beach in the mid-1980s. Two of the twenty-six images comprising Marginal Waters are included in the exhibition, and the entire series is reproduced in a catalogue published by Golden Gallery accompanying the first exhibition of prints in 2009. The images convey the relaxed intimacy and open expression of sexuality at the Belmont Rocks, one of the most visible urban gay beaches in North America nearly a quarter of a century ago. Omar Gamez similarly photographs environments where gay men gather to celebrate their physicality and to create bonds without inhibitions. His Natura series provides an insider’s view of a nudist retreat near Mexico City—a weekend meeting spot for men to engage in bare-fleshed communal revelries.
Embodiment: A Portrait of Queer Life in America by Molly Landreth reflects a cross-country journey over the course of more than half a decade photographing gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people of various ages, races and economic backgrounds. Two portraits from this study of what it means to be queer in America today focus on Cruz, aka Jalessa, performing drag for the first time in a backyard in Columbus, Ohio, and Clare Mercy, a truck driver and musician perched on the back of her car in Bellingham, Washington. Berlin-based artist Kerstin Honeit, in Becoming 10, explores gender construction through a series of photographs in which she assumes the identities of nine half-siblings whom she has never met. The images appear as film stills of everyday urban scenes in which Honeit performs a cast of vivid male and female characters.
In conjunction with the exhibition of Other Places from November 9 – December 10, 2011, additional images and information about the participating artists will be available through their Culturehall portfolios. Also as part of the Other Places exhibition, CCNY presents a talk with artist Molly Landreth, with an introduction by curator Tema Stauffer on Friday, November 18 at 7pm at the CCNY Studio. Landreth will present work from the Embodiment: A Portrait of Queer Life in America series, as well as other bodies of work.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Monday, October 24, 2011
Friday, September 23, 2011
Congratulations to the artists whose work is highlighted in culturehall's NEW ARTISTS FEATURE, SUMMER 2011: Antoine Lefebvre, Jenny Herrick, Bahar Yurukoglu, and Irina Rozovsky.
Our next juried application opens mid-October.
Monday, August 15, 2011
The four artists presented in this issue engage in photography’s dialogue with mortality and memory, presence and absence, visibility and invisibility. Through individual methods of photographing physical environments, each artist blurs the distinction between what exists and what is imagined or felt. Their relationships to the external world reflect personal investigations into themes of death, dreams, desire, attachment, and transformation. In some works, they look for evidence left behind even where it is not visible on the surface, and in others, they transfigure spaces to express internal realities.
During her early adolescence in Israel, Ayala Gazit learned from her father that she had a half-brother named James who lived in Western Australia with his mother and her children by another father. Six months later, James took his own life at 20-years-old. Driven by a desire to know James through the spaces he had occupied, Gazit traveled to Australia thirteen years after he passed away to search for traces of her brother’s existence in this barren terrain where fierce winds reinforce a feeling of isolation and eerie discordance. Her series of photographs, Was it a dream, convey the mystery and sorrow surrounding his death by focusing on trees, details of rooms, resonant natural light, and deep shadows. Also by combining portraits that she made of living family members with letters exchanged between them, as well as found photographs of James himself, she explores the layers of a complex story surrounding the enormous tragedy of her family’s loss. Together, these pictures and words communicate a haunting sense of absence and a quest for answers to questions that can never be fully answered.
Inspired by late 19th century spirit photographs and Victorian ghost stories written by women, Corinne May Botz collected oral stories and photographed over eighty locations where ghosts were reported throughout the United States. Over the course of nearly a decade, Botz investigated attics, bedrooms, bathrooms, hallways, windows, doors, and staircases in private residences as well as taverns, inns, army barracks, theatres, and museums. The images she made at these sites suggest the notion that the imprint of an event, real or imagined, imbues each place with a metaphorical hauntedness. The photographs reveal psychically charged visual clues about the history of these interiors and their inhabitants, or in some cases, allow the power of empty space and what is not visible or explicit to create mystery and ambiguity. Haunted Houses essentially speaks to the personal and subjective experience of perception of place particularly as it relates to narratives of memory, loss, and mourning. As Botz writes in the introduction to her book, “Houses are real and they are not real; they are both a physical space and a mental space full of dreams and desires.”
The relationship between the external world and the human psyche similarly informs landscape photographs made by Megan Cump. She, too, cites spirit photography as an important influence on her work. Feral explores personal mythology as the artist infuses herself into a sublime wilderness. Traces of her body appear in primordial landscapes, transforming them into mythic and paranormal scenes. Cump retreats into water or fog or dark shadows like an apparition, as animal as she is human. A fire burns in a river, the blood of a human heart stains a frozen waterfall. In Phantoms Limbs, Cump references 19th century paintings by French Realist Gustave Courbet. Reminiscent of the nude figure in his erotically charged L’Origine du monde, the lower region of her body is the focal point of the image – her legs spread under the rush of water – while the surrounding rocks and trees evoke Courbet’s reverent depictions of caves and grottos in other works.
Paola Davila’s photographic studies, Interior Seasons, are surreal and painterly meditations on water as a metaphor for human existence and the passage of time. The recurring motifs of a pillow and a puddle in each scene imply states of being and dreaming; lush color and texture dramatize the visceral beauty of these symbolic beds in natural settings. Davila photographs an actual bedroom, no less dreamlike - a stream of sunlight cast across a pool of fluid soaking dark red sheets. The image is quietly violent, deeply sexual. Elegant folds of the sheets undulate in light and shadow. The glistening liquid is the aftermath of a force and a flow – the revelation of what exists inside of us.
Friday, July 8, 2011
'Balance' (set by Ye Rin Mok) - photograph by Tema Stauffer
Stuart Pilkington (curator of The Alphabet Project and the 50 States Project) invited 107 photographers from around the world to participate in The Chain, a series of photographs responding to a title set by the person directly behind them in a chain of photographers. The title they set inspired the photographer in front of them.
I revisited Frye, a disc jockey whom I discovered in the parking lot of Dreamers Video Store in Austin on Christmas Day in 2009. I asked the photographer in front of me, Bieke Deporter, to consider 'oversaturation' - a condition to me that is not just about color density in photography - but also about life in New York, life in the arts, life in the wide wild world of images and the internet. Bieke made something deep, dark, beautiful, and serene.
Please see 105 more links in the chain here: The Chain
'Oversaturation' (set by Tema Stauffer) - photograph by Bieke Deporter
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Congratulations to culturehall's four new artists: Jason Bailer Losh, David Schoerner, Claudia X. Valdes, and Sarah Palmer.
Our next juried application opens mid-July.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
The Camera Club of New York announces an open call for applications for its Annual National Photography Competition juried by photographer, Richard Renaldi. The deadline is Monday, June 27.
For more information, please see: CCNY's 2011 National Photography Exhibition Call for Entries
For more information, please see: CCNY's 2011 National Photography Exhibition Call for Entries
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Sunday, May 8, 2011
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Thank you to photographer Pauline Magnenat whose recent interview with me can be found in the photographer interview series on her blog: ALL OF THIS IS ROCKET SCIENCE - Tema Stauffer
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Couple Embraces in yard near scene of domestic violence incident
I've donated a print of the image above shot on a police ride-along on the south side of Chicago in the year 2000 to inMotion's 2011 Annual Photography Auction & Benefit. InMotion provides free legal services to low-income woman in New York City.
The Live Auction takes place tonight at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers. The work can be previewed online at:
Live Photography Auction Collection
A Silent Auction can be viewed at:
Silent Auction Collection
Monday, April 4, 2011
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Saturday, April 2, 2011
Friday, April 1, 2011
Message to Junior:
Thank you again for letting me make a portrait of you on the street in Paterson. You're a very handsome young man with such a lovely expression in your eyes.
I am sending the photo in the attachment. I hope you like it.
Reply from Junior:
I love compliments, thanks!
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Monday, March 28, 2011
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Congratulations to culturehall's new artists - Lydia Anne McCarthy, Chris Wright, Brian Gillis, and Matthew Gamber. Their exceptional work was selected from our second open call for applications for membership and is highlighted in Feature Issue 65: NEW ARTISTS, WINTER 2011.
Our next open call will be announced in April 2011.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Thank you to Simon A. Thalmann and the Kalamazoo Gazette for a recent interview published in the arts section of the Sunday March 20th edition.
Please see: Photographer Tema Stauffer discusses winning AOL's '25 for 25' Grant for innovation in the arts
Please see: Photographer Tema Stauffer discusses winning AOL's '25 for 25' Grant for innovation in the arts
Monday, March 7, 2011
Ligne Roset, Cottelston Advisors and Culturehall are pleased to present Function, an exhibition curated by David Andrew Frey.
Michelle L. Leftheris
David B. Smith
Robyn Voshardt / Sven Humphrey
Function explores a selection of creative practices based on logic, systems and play while in conversation with a working space. Much like design-based objects, which exist to serve a defined physical plane, artworks in the exhibition find their own territory by creating individual sets of rules. Through the use of conceptual and formal concerns, artists in the show contemplate the workings of our contemporary surroundings, ponder perceived structure and examine gaps that may appear on closer inspection.
Artists participating in Function are members of Culturehall, an invitational online artist registry and curatorial project founded by David Andrew Frey.
February 22 – May 20, 2011
Opening Reception March 10, 6-8pm
250 Park Avenue South
New York, New York
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Karen Azoulay, Jem Cohen, Brent Green, Ben Kingsley and Jessica Langley, Carolyn Monastra, and Dan Torop
CLIMATE, curated by Megan Cump and Carolyn Monastra, features short films/videos that blur the distinction between the outer environment and an inner more psychological realm.
ARTPROJX CINEMA at the SVA Theatre, New York
in association with The Armory Show and VOLTA NY
Wednesday, March 2nd: 8:45 - 9:15 pm
Thursday, March 3rd: 5:05 - 5:35 pm
The SVA Theatre
333 West 23rd Street (between 8th and 9th Avenues)
New York, NY 10011
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Untitled from The Border series
copyright Victoria Sambunaris
The Photographer's Lecture Series: Victoria Sambunaris
International Center of Photography
February 23, 7pm
Yancey Richardson Gallery
535 West 22nd Street 3rd Floor
February 24 - April 9
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Australian writer and poet Allison Browning and I began our correspondence a year ago when I discovered my White Horse on her blog accompanying her poem, Small Gods. We quickly became overseas pen pals, sharing our experiences and intimate thoughts on love, relationships in their various manifestations, writing, soul-searching, and art-making.
Allison's poetry is inspired by images from photographers around the world, and in time, more of my own photographs appeared on her blog along with her poems: Fuel, Two Little, and Quickstep. I was thrilled for Allison that Fuel was selected for The Best Australian Poems 2010.
David Andrew Frey and I invited Allison to curate a Culturehall Feature Issue based on Australian photographers, and in September 2010, she contributed a beautiful essay, OUT BACK.
In honor of our year as kindred spirits and confidants, I've searched my contact sheets for old images with open spaces for Allison to find words. Thank you, Allison, for an inspiring friendship.
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Two of my photographs are included in a group exhibition opening tonight in London, curated by Emeric Glayse. Emeric is the Paris-based curator of the photo blog NoFound, and a selection of the photographs he has exhibited online will be shown in a traveling exhibition starting at Viktor Wynd Fine Art. NoFound to New Documents references the MOMA exhibition, New Documents, 1967, curated by John Szarkowski, and all of the images will be similarly exhibited in a line of small framed prints.
Other participating photographers include Agnes Thor, Alexander Binder, Ana Kraš, Bjarne Bare, Chris Heads, Elena Chernyak, Elinor Carucci, Emanuele Cardesi, Erik Van Der Weijde, Giasco Bertoli, Henry Roy, Jackson Eaton, Jerry Hsu, Jonnie Craig, Keiichi Nitta, Lina Scheynius, Linus Bill, Logan White, Nicole Lesser, Noël Loozen, Olivia Malone, Peter Sutherland, Peter Zachary Voelker, Philippe Gerlach, Rasha Kahil, Ren Hang, Rikki Kasso, Roberto Rubalcava, Thobias Fäldt, Todd Fisher, Tod Seelie, Valia Fetisov, Vincent Delbrouck and Yi-Qing Liu.
The exhibition runs through February 28, 2011
Viktor Wynd Fine Art
11 Mare street, E8
Monday, January 24, 2011
The Shpilman Institute for Photography (The SIP) announces open calls for general research on photography and for research on philosophy and photography.
The SIP invites scholars and independent researchers from all over the world to submit their applications through its website, where guidelines, themes, the application process, and submissions can be found.
Grants are based on proposals for research leading to the completion within the grant period of a written document, whether an essay or extended research paper. All submissions and papers for both the calls must be in English. Grants for individuals and group research will range from US $5,000 up to $15,000. Deadline for submissions is March 1, 2011.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Historically, one of the most powerful aspects of the medium of photography, particularly through genres of portraiture and documentary work, has been its ability to make marginalized individuals and communities visible. Culturehall features four photographers in this issue whose work specifically focuses on identities, relationships, and environments outside of heterosexual norms. Like their predecessors and contemporaries – Peter Hujar, Nan Goldin, David Armstrong, Mark Morrisroe, Jack Pierson, and Catherine Opie, to name a few – these artists, through widely varied photographic strategies, portray people and social spaces whose differences are defined by unconventional expressions of sexuality and gender.
The constructed images in Kelli Connell’s ongoing series, Double Life, elicit multiple readings. One of these is an interpretation of masculinity and femininity as they manifest in the context of lesbian relationships. Using a single model, Connell uses digital technology to produce fictitious photographs that appear almost like film stills in which a psychologically charged moment exists between two characters. In more or less subtle ways, one of the women appears to perform a masculine role, where the other performs a feminine role. Her photographs raise questions about how gender dynamics are expressed in lesbian relationships and the nature of gender itself as a social construct. What makes the identity of this single subject different from that of her “other self” in each image are cultural cues like hairstyle, make-up, clothing, and body language. Reminiscent of scenes between Alma and Elisabet from Ingmar Bergman’s Persona, Connell creates spaces fraught with tension and ambiguity.
Molly Landreth’s series of large-format photographs, Queer America, celebrates a broad notion of queer identity. Among her subjects are gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender people – individuals, couples, groups, and families existing outside mainstream conventions of sexuality and gender. Landreth asks her subjects, some of whom she meets through Facebook or Myspace, to suggest meaningful places in their own homes and neighborhoods where she can make portraits of them wearing clothing of their choice. These frank portraits made in states across the country document GLBT subjects of various ages, races, and economic backgrounds. In one image, Landreth photographed Cruz, aka Jalesa, in a backyard in Columbus, Ohio. At 17, Jalesa had just performed drag for the first time at Baptist church camp and struck poses learned from watching America’s Next Top Model. Landreth’s method of creating these photographs enables her subjects to present themselves as they wish to be seen; however, an inescapable truth is that how they are perceived entirely depends on who is looking.
Using a hidden camera, Omar Gamez spies on furtive sexual encounters between men in cuartos oscuros, or darkrooms, in Mexico City. Like Tennessee William’s Joy Rio – a formerly opulent opera house converted into a third-rate cinema where sexual dramas transpire in the roped-off regions – the darkrooms in Gamez’s photographs exist in old houses with tall ceilings, candelabras, and fading gilt. Legally, the spaces pass as gyms, and songs from radio stations fill the large hallways and decaying rooms with rhythmic sounds. Gamez occupies these spaces both as an artist and as a participant. In his images, the faces and identities of men are obscured beyond recognition by shadows, soft focus, and framing. What is visible are fragments of trysts between strangers where light leaks into darkness. The impressionistic stills and video of The Dark Book secretly capture anonymous men like ghosts in a ritual based in desire, mystery, and danger.
In contrast, Doug Ischar’s Marginal Waters series depicts gay men basking in sunlight on a Chicago beach. Ischar documented a community of men who congregated on the Belmont Rocks of Lake Michigan in the mid-eighties before the site was demolished in 2003. The images communicate a sense of warmth and relaxed intimacy - as well as freedom and openness in sexual expression – within a group of kindred spirits. In some cases, the men are coupled and shown in sensual embraces. Besides their historical significance as documentation of a specific cultural moment, what makes the images so engaging is the pure pleasure of looking at them. The saturated colors of the sky, water, and skin tones of seductive bodies accompanied by an assortment of quirky artifacts, like the biography of Diane Arbus and a pink flamingo or the eighties hairstyles and slinky shorts, result in irresistible pictures.
Head to Head, by Kelli Connell
Cruz, aka Jalesa, by Molly Landreth
From The Dark Book, by Omar Gamez
Marginal Waters #14, by Doug Ischar