Panopticon Gallery’s upcoming exhibition The Things That Seem and Those That Are: Reshaping Photography through Alternative Processes will be on display from February 28 through April 1st.
Photographers selected for this exhibition are:
S. Gayle Stevens
The things that seem and those that are is in part Machiavellian. It’s a quote paraphrased, but it also goes on to describe the alternative and historical photographic processes through which each of these artist’s works. The key term is processes – the works are not instantaneous, rather time consuming processes that are anti-digital in nature.
We will have a variety of alternative processes on display, from cyanotypes to tintypes, ambrotypes to platinum palladium prints, and images created with pinhole cameras – each unique image baring the marks of their makers.
The opening reception for this exhibition will be held on Thursday, February 28th from 5:30-7:30pm.
At the January 14, 2013 opening reception for the first of three exhibitions of international artist books & broadsides, one of the local book artists asked about al-Mutanabbi Street today, after the 2007 car bombing. Two guests spoke of “I Am Iraqi, I Read,” the September 29, 2012 peaceful book festival and public “read -in” held in a Baghdad park. Salma Abu Ayyash has sent me this YouTube video clip, with English translations of the Arabic text/speech, and I am posting it here.
Salma’s introductory text is below:
Published on Feb 13, 2013
The immense bomb explosion that devastated Al Mutanabbi Street in Baghdad on March 5, 2007, was not the only direct assault on the freedom of thought, on reading and on the BOOKs of Al Mutanabb street. Another campaign, by the US-backed Iraqi government, to destroy this book culture of Al Mutanabbi Street and suppress booksellers continued last summer.
Twice, municipality bull-dozer demolition teams accompanied by fully armed troops, destroyed the book stalls of Al Mutanabbi Street. On September 17, 2012, came the last attack on the booksellers of Al Mutanabbi Street.
Within twelve days, of the last attack, people were able to organize a peaceful book festival event that was held on September 29, 2012, with the title: ” I Am Iraqi, I Read” . . . Private citizens brought book donations to the festival where people gathered on the green in a peaceful demonstration and a defiant public-read-in, to say we will continue reading in public defying the abhorrent official political attempts of organized suppression of freedom of thought, reading and knowledge in Iraq. We are doing this for our children to enable them to rebuild the future Iraq.
In this book festival, Rawan, a young Baghdadi girl delivered the main speech in which she stressed the importance of reading and education for rebuilding Iraq.
Two of my collaged objects are included in this traveling exhibition of books, and book-related work.
Lodz Polsih Book art Museum presents
9th International Book Art Festival CORRESPONDENCE
presenting works of 84 artists from Europe, USA and Asia.
February 8 – March 3, 2013
Artists Reception: February 8 at 7pm
Ośrodek Działań Artystycznych w Piotrkowie Trybunalskim
ODA Sieradzka 8, Piotrków Trybunalski
Curators: Alicja Słowikowska, Jadwiga Tryzno, Ania Gilmore (USA), Sara Bodman (UK)
The Doors of Perception: Vision and Innovation in Alternative Processes
Featuring work by Ron Cowie, Jesseca Ferguson, Gretjen Helene, Scott McMahon, Mark Osterman and France Scully Osterman, and Jerry Spagnoli.
February 5 – March 23, 2013
Opening Reception: Thursday, February 7, 2012, 6:30-8pm
PRC Gallery, 832 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA
“If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he see all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.”
–William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, 1790-1793
Since its invention, photography has undergone a series of evolutionary developments in process and technique to fulfill the needs and desires of its age, practitioners, and artists. With the development of digital photography and the internet, photographs can be made and widely disseminated within seconds. Yet despite the ease and ubiquity of digital technologies, a number of contemporary photographers continue to return photography’s rich and multifaceted history to reinvigorate the medium in the 21st century. The Doors of Perception: Vision and Innovation in Alternative Processes showcases contemporary photographers working with a diverse range of historic, or alternative, photographic processes, such as pinhole photography, tintype, cyanotype, platinum printing, and gum bichromate, as well as liquid emulsion. Employing these photographic processes from the past to create unique handmade photographic objects, the artists in this exhibition reinvest the photograph with what critic Walter Benjamin feared would vanish in the age of reproduction: the “aura” of a work of art.
The artists in this exhibition distinguish themselves not only as masters of particular historical processes, but also as innovators who have discovered new ways to use alternative processes to create their own personal artistic visions. Some of the artists achieve this by synthesizing different historic processes while others use evocative imagery and titles to create multilayered meanings with their chosen alternative processes. By constructing new photographic objects and realities, all of the artists throw open the doors of perception and suggest that photography’s brilliant future depends on acknowledgment and reinvention of its past.
Curated by Francine Weiss
Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here
A three-part exhibition of artist books and broadsides
January 7 – June 21, 2013
CAC Gallery at the Cambridge Arts Council
City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, 2nd Floor, Cambridge, MA
Exhibition #1: January 7 – February 28, 2013
Opening Reception: Monday, January 14, 2013 at 6:00-8:00pm
Exhibition #2: March 6 – April 30, 2013
Opening Reception: Monday, March 11, 2013 at 6:00-8:00pm
Exhibition #3: May 13 – June 21, 2013
Opening Reception: Monday, May 13, 2013 at 6:00-8:00pm
On March 5, 2007, a car bomb exploded on al-Mutanabbi Street, the ancient street of booksellers, poets and writers, located at the literary and cultural heart of Baghdad, Iraq. The attack killed 30 people and injured scores more. As part of an international response to this event, the Cambridge Arts Council presents “Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here,” a three-part exhibition of 261 artist books made by 260 international artists from 24 countries.This exhibition events aims to bear witness to the events on Al-Mutanabbi Street, and to collectively affirm that the right to a free exchange of ideas and culture in public space is never to be taken for granted.
Over the course of six months and three exhibitions, the Cambridge Arts Council will present the entire collection of astoundingly powerful artistic creations along with a number of related events such as film screenings, poetry readings, curated conversations at the opening receptions, book-making workshops for children and adults, and in-depth panel discussions.
Visit website for more information, event listings, images and video:
This coordinated artistic response to the al-Mutanabbi Street bombing originated with Beau Beausoleil, poet and bookseller in San Francisco, CA and co-coordinator on the artists’ book project is Sarah Bodman. Each of the artists has created an edition of three books. At the conclusion of the project, one set of the collection will be donated to the National Library in Baghdad, Iraq.
An article and slideshow of images about Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here, A literary bridge to Baghdad, was recently published in The Economist online.