Sep 24th 2021

Collaborating with the Archive

@ Filter Photo

1821 W Hubbard St, Chicago, IL 60622

Opening Friday, September 24th, from 6PM - 9PM

On view through Saturday, October 30th

Filter Photo is pleased to announce Collaborating with the Archive, an exhibition juried by Mary Statzer. There will be an opening reception, in conjunction with we like small things v.4, on September 24th during the 2021 Filter Photo Festival.

Archives containing photographs, documents, and other historical artifacts left behind by previous generations are powerful and essential tools for artists. I have identified three ways in which the artists in this exhibition have engaged with them. The first is as a conceptual point of departure where archival research provides information and inspiration as well as a source of appropriated imagery. The second is as a means of tapping personal histories. Using their own family’s photographs or found collections of private snapshots, many artists in this exhibition alter and add to vernacular images to tell meaningful stories or critique the broader culture. Finally, the photographer’s own work, amassed over time, can also be a productive starting point.

Questions about what constitutes an archive interest me but proved less relevant during the selection process for this exhibition. What I found important and exciting is the consistently compelling visual expressions found in this group of archive-based works and the range of significant subjects addressed, including Blackness, queerness, institutional racism, environmental histories, diasporic erasure, an invented history of illness, and the physical accumulation of photographic materials.

Participating Artists: Carmelo Amenta, Tristan Cai, Alison Carey, Kelli Connell & Natalie Krick, Diane Durant, Jennifer Everett, Rachel Fein-Smolinski, Dana Fritz, Meg Griffiths, Sarah Hadley,  Muriel Hasbun, Vikesh Kapoor, Forest Kelley , Marika Kent, Kollin Kirven, Kevin J. Miyazaki, Toni Pepe, Elizabeth Stone, Aaron Turner, Melanie Walker

Mary Statzer is Curator of Prints and Photographs at University of New Mexico Art Museum. She organizes exhibitions in all mediums and from UNMAM’s permanent collection. Statzer has written for Aperture magazine and edited a multi-author book titled, The Photographic Object 1970. She brought Jess T. Dugan and Vanessa Fabbre’s exhibition, To Survive on This Shore: Photographs and Interviews with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Older Adults, to UNMAM. Her other recent lens-based exhibitions include Patrick Nagatani: A Survey of Early Photographs and Please Enjoy and Return: Bruce Conner Films from the Sixties. She is currently developing a virtual platform for artist/museum engagement that will feature multi-media artist and writer, Rose B. Simpson (Santa Clara Pueblo, NM), in its first adaptation. Statzer holds an MFA in printmaking from Arizona State University and PhD in art history with specialties in the history of photography and museum studies from University of Arizona.

This exhibition is partially sponsored by The Illinois Arts Council Agency.

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