Jul 23, 2011

Revisiting Red Hook

Recently I have returned to photographing Red Hook, Brooklyn, a neighborhood I have been exploring visually since 2003. In 2006 suddenly the neighborhood became very trendy, thanks to an Ikea and a Fairway supermarket, and suddenly folks from other areas began popping up everywhere---there were even boatloads of tourists descending upon the waterfront! Disgusted by the sudden popularity of the area, I put away my camera, for the most part, for a year or two.

This past year, I started seeing the old buildings and weed-filled lots with fresh eyes, in part thanks to the photography course I am teaching at the School of Visual Arts, Modern Ruins: Photographing Brooklyn's Industrial Landscapes. In the heat of the summer I took out the 4x5 and with the help of my assistant Alex began, once again, to photograph the neighborhood.

Seeing a project through over a long period of time is a challenge on many levels. It is not the same as making singular images, and it goes against the whole idea of trend in the art world. Something I have struggled with since finishing graduate school in 2008 is regaining a sense of 'poetic innocence' while picture-making---making photographs that are both spiritually and conceptually fulfilling. Finally I feel I am regaining that ground. It has been a struggle---this year I am a new mom, teaching a lot, and really thinking about my life's goals---but finally, I am remembering and re-appreciating what first made me love shooting architecture and its connection to the urban environment in the first place.

Jul 11, 2011


© Jess T. Dugan
Self-Portrait with Mom,
Mirror, 2010

One gem out of the summer groups shows is FAMILY VALUE at Michael Mazzeo Gallery, open until August 5th. Mostly photography with a spattering of drawings, collage, hand embroidery, and installation, the work in this exhibition was dynamic, disturbing, and beautifully crafted. Rather than stick with traditional notions of the nuclear or extended family, the artists in this show touched upon transgender identity within family (Jess T. Dugan), siamese twins (Katharina Lepik), the fatigue of motherhood (Juliana Gamino), lost photographs from homes in New Orleans (Will Steacy), and the fragility of the aging family member (Justine Reyes).

The artists in the show:
Jacqueline Bates
Juliana Beasley
Annabel Clark
Kristen Dorata
Jess T. Dugan
Juliana Gamino
Jessica Hines
Katharina Lepik
Carlos Loret de Mola
Brigitte Lustenberger
Stacy Renee Morrison
Rachelle Mozman
Josh Quigley
Justine Reyes
Kerri Rosenstein
Chris Sellas
Paul Mpagi Sepuya
Paul Shore
Gerald Slot & Neil LaBute
Hrvoje Slovenc
Will Steacy
Amanda Tiller

Jul 5, 2011

Bruchstücke by Alexandra Knospe

Show to see: Bruchstücke by Alexandra Knospe at Pratt Institute Gallery

Opening: July 7th from 6-8pm
Where: Pratt CCPS Gallery, 144 West 14th street (between 6th and 7th Avenue, second floor

Bruchstück (German)
- fragment: a small piece of a whole
- remainder: a part that is left after use or passage of time

In "Bruchstücke", Alexandra Knospe presents a selection of images from her recent body of work. While the subject matter varies from abandoned industrial structures, battered furniture as well as architectural motifs, the focus lies on worn out objects that usually go unnoticed. Their imperfections, scratches and shattered pieces are all hallmarks of human use that connect each image with its neighbor.

As the absence of something signifies its presence, Alexandra Knospe creates her photographs without the actual appearance of an human being that could interfere with the aura of solitude & segregation. Using a large format view camera her compositions are carefully weighed and considered. In mashing the art of photography and drawing, several images feature etchings with a small piece of metal that makes them unique in their existence.

"Bruchstücke" is on display at the Pratt CCPS Gallery from July 7th through August 26th 2011 with an opening reception on July 7th from 6 - 8 p.m. Further details about the show are available at http://www.akpunkt.com/bruchstuecke.html & https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=132613710146108.

CV: Alexandra Knospe was born in Germany and grew up in Europe. After spending almost a decade working within the consumer marketing world, Alexandra left both, the corporate career and Europe to follow her life-long calling of photography full time in 2009. She studied photography and digital imaging at the Pratt Institute and now lives and works in New York City.

Pratt CCPS Gallery is located at 144 West 14th street (between 6th and 7th Avenue, on the second floor. The gallery hours are: Mon-Thu 10 am - 8 pm, and Fri - Sun 10 am- 4 pm.