Sep 19th 2019

2019 Filter Photo Festival: Day 1

@ Millennium Knickerbocker Chicago

163 E Walton Pl, Chicago, IL 60611

Opening Thursday, September 19th, from 9AM - 5 PM

On view through Sunday, September 22nd

9:00 am – 5:00 pm PORTFOLIO REVIEWS

9:00 am – 4:00 pm WORKSHOP: Building a Body of Work with Richard Renaldi
In this one-day workshop, students will discuss the ideas and practices behind fostering a long term photographic project. Participants should bring one or more photographic series that they have been working on for a period of time and are looking for guidance on how to “grow” their project. The group will participate in a dialogue that is self-critical and encourages reflection. Richard will make suggestions and provide tools to help build a strong and lasting photographic series. He will present both renowned and lesser-known photography projects for discussion and examination. The group will deliberate regarding the “why” and inspiration behind the themes in each of the participants work as well as developing confidence in remarking upon and developing an opinion about their colleague’s work. This workshop is ideal for anyone looking to further develop their photography through dialog and direct feedback of an existing series of photographs.

Richard Renaldi was born in Chicago in 1968. He received a BFA in photography from New York University in 1990. He is represented by Benrubi Gallery in New York and Robert Morat Galerie in Berlin. Five monographs of his work have been published, including Richard Renaldi: Figure and Ground(Aperture, 2006); Fall River Boys(Charles Lane Press, 2009); Touching Strangers(Aperture, 2014); Manhattan Sunday(Aperture, 2016); I Want Your Love (Super Labo, 2018). He was the recipient of a 2015 fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

This workshop is limited to 18 participants.

10:00 am – 12:00 pm ROAMING REVIEWS | FREE

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm ARTIST TALK: Cecil McDonald, Jr. | FREE

Cecil McDonald Jr will guide the audience in an exploration of how photographers, painters, writers, and designers have looked to social dance and club culture to depict the black experience. In context, he will share images from a forthcoming publication In the Heat of the Cool (Candor Arts), a meditation on celebration, in the pursuit of beauty.

Cecil McDonald, Jr uses photography, video, and text to explore the intersections of masculinity, familial relations, and the artistic and intellectual pursuits of black culture. McDonald studied fashion, house music, and dance club culture before receiving an MFA in Photography at Columbia College Chicago, where he currently serves as an adjunct professor. He is a teaching artist for School Partnership for Art and Civic Engagement at the Museum of Contemporary Art. His work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally, with works in the permanent collection of The Cleveland Museum of Art, Chicago Bank of America LaSalle Collection, and the Harris Bank Collection. He was awarded the Joyce Foundation Midwest Voices & Visions Award, the Artadia Award, 3Arts Teaching Artist Award and The Swiss Benevolent Society, Lucerne, Switzerland, Residency. In 2019, McDonald participated in The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation’s Artist-in-Residence program. In The Company of Black, his first comprehensive monograph published by Candor Arts, was shortlisted for First Photographic Book of the Year 2017, by The Aperture Foundation and Paris Photo.

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm ARTIST TALK: Isa Leshko | FREE
Isa Leshko will be signing her book, Allowed to Grow Old, after the talk and also at The Portfolio Walk. Books will be available for sale at the Festival.

“For nearly a decade, I have visited farm animal sanctuaries across America to create photographic portraits of geriatric animals. I began this series shortly after caring for my mom who had Alzheimer’s disease. The experience had a profound effect on me and forced me to confront my own mortality. I am terrified of growing old and I started photographing geriatric animals in order to take an unflinching look at this fear. As I met rescued farm animals and heard their stories, though, my motivation for creating this work changed. I became a passionate advocate for these animals and I wanted to use my images to speak on their behalf.

For this series, I have also photographed elderly companion animals. I juxtapose these images with my farmed animal portraits to exemplify the similarities among these animals and to invite inquiry into why we pamper some animals and butcher others.

Nearly all of the farm animals I met for this project endured horrific abuse and neglect prior to their rescue. Yet it is a massive understatement to say that they are the lucky ones. Roughly fifty billion land animals are factory farmed globally each year. It is nothing short of a miracle to be in the presence of a farm animal who has managed to reach old age. Most of their kin die before they are six months old. By depicting the beauty and dignity of elderly farm animals, I invite reflection upon what is lost when these animals are not allowed to grow old”.

–Isa Leshko

Isa Leshko is an artist whose work examines themes relating to animal rights, aging, and mortality. She has received fellowships from the Bogliasco Foundation, the Culture & Animals Foundation, the Houston Center for Photography, the Millay Colony for the Arts, and the Silver Eye Center for Photography. She has exhibited her work widely in the United States, and her prints are in numerous private and public collections including the Boston Public Library, Fidelity Investments, the Harry Ransom Center, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Leshko’s images have been published in The Atlantic, The Boston Globe, Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, The Guardian, Harper’s Magazine, The New York Times, and Süddeutsche Zeitung. In April 2019, the University of Chicago Press published her first monograph, Allowed to Grow Old: Portraits of Elderly Rescued Farm Animals, which included essays by activist Gene Baur, NY Times bestselling author Sy Montgomery, and curator Anne Wilkes Tucker.

5:00 pm – 6:30 pm RECEPTION: Festival Welcome Reception at Museum of Contemporary Photography | FREE

7:00 pm – 8:00 pm KEYNOTE LECTURE: Rodrigo Valenzuela at Columbia College Chicago | FREE

Filter Photo is pleased to present Rodrigo Valenzuela as the Evening Speaker for the 2019 Filter Photo Festival. Valenzuela constructs narratives, scenes, and stories which point to the tensions found between the individual and communities. He utilizes autobiographical threads to inform larger universal fields of experience. Gestures of alienation and displacement are both the aesthetic and subject of much of his work. Often using landscapes and tableaus with day laborers or himself, Valenzuela explores the way an image is inhabited, and the way that spaces, objects, and people are translated into images. His work serves as an expressive and intimate point of contact between the broader realms of subjectivity and political contingency. Through videos and photographs, he makes images that feel at the same time familiar yet distant, engaging the viewer in questions concerning the ways in which the formation and experience of each work is situated—how they exist in and out of place.

Rodrigo Valenzuela, Santiago, Chile 1982. Lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. Valenzuela studied art history and photography at University of Chile (2004), holds a BA in Philosophy at The Evergreen State College and an MFA at University of Washington. Recent residencies include Core Fellowship at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (Texas), Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (Maine), MacDowell Colony (NH), Bemis Center for contemporary arts (Nebraska), Lightwork (Syracuse) and the Center for Photography at Woodstock (New York). Recent solo exhibitions include Lisa Kandlhofer Galerie, Vienna, AU (2018), Work in Its Place, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Eugene (2018); American-Type, Orange County Museum, 2018; Labor Standards, Portland Art Museum, 2018; New Land, McColl Center, Charlotte, 2017; Prole, Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita, 2016; Future Ruins, Frye Art Museum, Seattle, 2015. Rodrigo Valenzuela is an assistant professor at University of California, Los Angeles and the recipient of the 2017 Joan Mitchell award for painters and sculptors.

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