Joaquin Palting

Last Days | We live in an era of frightening superlatives. Each morning the headlines blare, “July HOTTEST Month Ever Recorded”, “Climate The GREATEST Existential Threat We Have Faced”, and on and on. The warnings seem to come faster and faster falling on ears that seem to become deafer and deafer.

Last Days documents a small area of land, near Ventura, California , which was ravaged by the largest wildfire in the history of the state. The photographs foreshadow the near future that waits us as we move through the waning years of the Anthropocene.

Susana Quevedo

There’s something quieter than sleep | This series comprises several self-portraits I made over the past few years. This obsessive need to turn the camera to myself became the only way to cope with the fear of disappearance and the ever-changing nature of my body riddled with vulnerability, as if it were a disease caused by the accumulation of time, fear, and memories.
Adding several layers of black charcoal to cover up the printed area of the photographic image, made it seem like it was fading to complete blackness; I then used a flat brush to remove the excessive amount of charcoal in order to make possible to get a glimpse of the photograph hidden beneath this black surface. One looks at these blackened photographs as if they were in the realm of memory invocation: memories are dark and distant as if they somehow inhabited the core of blackened soil.
This is a project about not wanting to be seen and choosing how not to be seen, an act of self-erasure. It is also about how the spectator looks at these images, it’s a way of playing with the gaze of the spectator. These images require you look at them with full attention and time, but simultaneously you’re unable to see the photograph clearly. You will get a glimpse of the subtle lines of my face or my hands, of the obscured shape of my petrified body.
Something you cannot see completely, something still and quiet, like the darkness inside the body, like the body asleep in the dark.

David Johnson

Wig Heavier Than a Boot | Wig Heavier Than a Boot brings together photography by David Johnson and poetry by Philip Matthews. Revealing Petal—a drag consciousness as whom Philip manifests to write, and David photographs—the project crosses art-making rituals with isolated performances within domestic spaces and pastoral landscapes. Taken together, the resulting photographs and poems reveal dynamic relationships between author, character, and observer. By articulating a specific creative process in which one identity becomes two, the project in turn opens up a conversation about gender expression through an art-historical lens.

The photographs provide one record of author and character, blurring art-historical masculine and feminine postures and gestures. The poems provide another, which elaborate upon the lived experience of being, modeling, and sometimes, obscuring Petal. Subverting the ekphrastic literary tradition, Philip’s poems do not respond to Johnson’s photographs, nor vice-versa. Both forms are made in the present: as David directs the shoot, Philip makes performance notes that give way to the poem. The durational mode of writing parallels the time it takes to prepare for a photograph, while the sudden capture sheds light on the burst of line that yields a poem. In this process, David and Philip continually break open and leverage their own biases and desires to create an authentic body of work. 

Petal is alternately present and not, like a nonphysical entity invoked by a medium. The photographs capture the blend or distinction between Philip and Petal, and the poems hybridize their perspectives, enacting a relationship that is surreal, empowering, and unbearable, as the project title suggests. What is constant is a sense of a person wanting to belong to the place that hosts them (i.e. farmland in rural Wisconsin, the coast of North Carolina, an art museum in St. Louis, a small church), even or especially when the social norms of that place are felt to ostracize them. Both photographs and poems balance narrative with fragmentation and invite multiple interpretations.

Neal Johnson

Landforms | is a study of Iceland’s geothermal extraction infrastructure and its relation to the natural landscape in which it exists. The way in which the structures have been designed, whether intentionally or coincidentally, have a mass and a volume and an aesthetic that echo the natural landforms around them. These photographs explore how natural landforms and manmade landforms coexist in this unique environment while still maintaining an egalitarian and harmonious relationship towards each other. Using a 6x7 medium format camera to achieve optimal clarity and resolution for this process, Neal has been photographing Iceland for the past two years, examining this infrastructure and its relationship to the natural world.


Mood, Memory, or Myth | My ongoing series Mood, Memory, or Myth is an exploration of the human experiences and memories of fear, anxiety, and pleasure, and the impact of growing up in a family that refuses to discuss any of that. Sex, sadness, death, and family illnesses are subjects that my family considers taboo. My family's inability to discuss these subjects openly left me without a voice. I discovered that the simple act of photographically depicting these forbidden subjects empowers me, allowing me to explore my feminine desires, my sadnesses, and to come to terms with my Mexican culture's and family's expectations of me as a female: to wed and have children. I create illusions that conjure the realms of the imagination without presenting a factual reality. Something very personal and complex, but which allows viewers to relate freely on their own terms. I use these subjects and memories to help me navigate the anxieties caused by my family’s expectations of me as a woman, and to fill the space left by my family’s silence on these taboos.

I work traditionally, shooting film, Polaroids, paper negatives, and making darkroom chromogenic prints, occasionally incorporating mixed media. Analog production allows me to insert more of myself into each print.

Dotan Saguy

Venice Beach | In a city inspired by Hollywood’s excesses keeping racial, ethnic and socioeconomic differences under a tight lid, the Palm tree lined Venice Beach boardwalk is an oasis of spontaneity, diversity, and bohemian lifestyle where weirdness is encouraged and the moment is all there is.
I’ve been irresistibly attracted yet intimidated by Venice Beach ever since I moved to Los Angeles from New York in 2003. After all, this “Coney Island of the West” as some used to call it is nothing less than the birthplace of the worldwide fitness movement and modern skateboarding, also greatly influential to the world of rock music, surfing and street art.

My images immortalize decisive moments of Venice Beach’s quirky sub-cultures using complex multi-layered compositions. The choice of high-contrast black and white, unusual angles and back-light infuse the images with an edgy yet dreamlike quality that “feel” like Venice Beach to me. I aim to the place the viewer at the center of Venice’s edgy, eccentric but endangered culture, now quickly being eroded by gentrification and corporate appropriation.

Stephan Jahanshahi

Domestic Interior | In November 2018 I got hurt at work. I’ve always carried the majority of my identity in the things I do; playing rugby, working manual labor, taking photographs. That all came to a screeching halt and was replaced by nerve pain, inertia, and insomnia while I waited for Washington State to process my medical claim and put me on a path to eventual surgery in the hope of getting my life back.

I don’t move around enough in the day to get tired by night, so most evenings my wife goes to bed alone. These images are for her, while we both wait for me to come back to a normal life.

Heather Binns

Visiting the Brazzales | Moving to Portland, Oregon from Michigan almost 20 years ago was a leap of faith.

I had no job, no family, and no friends. Still, Portland felt right. Years after moving I discovered a family connection to the city through my maternal great-grandparents, Daniel and Marguerite Brazzale. They moved to Portland in the early 1940s and died in the city I now call home.

My great-grandparents are entombed in the Portland Memorial Mausoleum; a behemoth of a historical structure covering over 4 acres, spanning 8 floors and over 4 miles of corridors. 75,000 memorials in the form of bodies and cremated remains are interred in the Portland Memorial Mausoleum, and it was here that I went to discover more about the lives and deaths of my Portland roots; the Brazzales.

Over the past several years, I’ve visited the Mausoleum and the Brazzales numerous times. I am fascinated by the structure itself and by the emotions it stirs. I am intrigued by the way the structure mirrors American views on death and dying; mausoleums are a seemingly extreme attempt to stop the natural processes of decay. Granite tombs, sealed tightly against the years encased in a structure of steel and concrete thought to be so impervious that the Mausoleum was WWII bomb shelter. All of this, for what? For who?

In my visits to the Mausoleum I found myself drawn to the dichotomy of home like qualities of the spaces and the irony of entombment that has, across the decades, fallen into disrepair. The spaces are lavishly furnished, but with timeworn and decaying pieces. The sense of reverence is palpable, yet in all my visits, I only saw one person tending to a memorial.    Through my images, I hope to capture vignettes of melancholic beauty that speak to memory and the unknown stories of family.

Lee Nelson

Thirty-Six Views Of Mt. Lee and The Hollywood Sign | In the early 1800s Hokusai created “36 Views of Mount Fuji”, a series of woodblock prints of Mount Fuji, a powerful icon in Japan. The series depicts Mt. Fuji in different seasons and from many different vantage points and distances, in some prints Mt. Fuji dominates the scene and in some is a small part of the composition. Many of Hokusai’s prints juxtapose scenes of varied aspects of daily life with this powerful symbol. This power is derived not only from the graphic elements of Mt. Fuji’s physical presence but each viewer’s personal idea of what Mt. Fuji represents.

When photographing in the Los Angeles area I noticed that I was including the Hollywood Sign in images if it was in sight. When I thought about what attracted me to it I remembered Hokusai's series and how the power of his icon charged his prints.

For many the Hollywood Sign is instantly recognizable and that recognition locates an image in geography as well as implies some meaning based on the viewers assumptions of what Hollywood represents in the past and in the present. In his book “The Hollywood Sign” Leo Braudy writes, “But the Hollywood Sign still delivers, perhaps because it can be commandeered by everyone with a camera to mean what they want it to mean. Because it’s not a billboard, not flat, it’s shape is more elusive, with letters set at odd angles to each other. How you capture it in memory or on film is always a personal choice. For anyone climbing or driving the hills of Hollywood to seek the best road to the sign or the right angle on it, the sign situates you in your own experience. To photograph it or see it enhances your sense of self like seeing a movie star. Unlike fixed icons that may be viewed from different angles but don’t really change that much, the sign is a shifting icon whose viewers supply the context, framing themselves and the sign at once.”

Epiphany Knedler

Adaptations | adaptations is a self-portrait reflecting on changes in my personal life. On top of the changes within my family, I moved 1,400 miles away from my hometown, where I had lived for the past twenty-two years. This exterior change left me with interior feelings to wrestle with. Using childhood photos from a family vacation in South Dakota, there is a focus on memory and nostalgia.

I sent postcards to myself, indicating a personal move across the country. I used matte material and wax to both secure and obscure the memory of my family before the changes. These artifacts are meant to be held and experienced, evoking melancholy.

Peter Boersma

Nieuwe Landschappen | I Morphe Mountains. Old images of mountain ranges, portraits of Che Guevara or Marilyn Monroe, photos of clouds, dresses, cars: Using my unique technique, I turn it into fictitious mountain landscapes.

I made my first collage with tape and paper in 1999. I think I've been using adhesive tape for more than ten kilometres ever since. I prefer to work with worn-out magazines, sometimes more than a century old. After both abstract and figurative periods, I now concentrate on a specific theme: mountains. Everything is possible in a mountain landscape. Weather, light, soil types, vegetation: walking through the mountains a continuous spectacle of shadows, lines and colours takes place before your eyes. Even in a collage everything is possible'.

I started by making collages of mountains based on old photographs of existing mountain ranges. New landscapes were created by combining shreds of photographs of the Dolomites and the Himalayas, for example. In the meantime I have set myself the challenge of creating mountain landscapes with completely different images as a source. Glaciers arise from white surfaces in magazines, ridges from the hairs of portrayed persons, lakes from flinters of blue paper. Everything and everyone can become a mountain'.

Alan Ostreicher

Apartment 304 | These photographs are from an ongoing series of snapshots taken in and around my wife's and my apartment with a Polaroid camera and instant film over many years. I've had the idea of making images of my immediate domestic, day to day environment ever since spending a summer during college living in the Boston expressionist painter Jason Berger's art filled apartment in Brookline. He painted mainly landscapes but I had a special affinity for the work he produced in his apartment. I was amazed at how his unique way of seeing transformed the space in which I was living into abstract, playful, and frenzied lines of color and space. Robert Bechtel is another artist whose use of everyday domestic scenes in his work has influenced my approach to this project.

We've lived in this rent controlled apartment for over 20 years and although the rent is very reasonable we sometimes think about moving.

The thought of living somewhere else is a poignant reminder that although we've spent a good part of our lives here it may, at some point, be just a memory. I've made a lot of pictures of physical details of our apartment over the years, but the series mainly consists of those that depict the quiet moments of little consequence that comprise most of our time.

Lori Pond

Menace | When danger flares, what do you do?

Since humans first experienced the fight or flight reflex, the subconscious brain has told us what, when, and whom to fear. This remains so. When faced with peril, our bodies respond with intensified adrenaline and racing heart beats. Survival depends on our instantaneous emotional response instructing us to run or stay, a millisecond before our rational self can decide.

While our brains have not changed, what we fear has. It is rarely a carnivorous beast that triggers our instinct to run. It is pictures of burning skyscrapers, reports of schoolchildren crouching behind desks to hide from bullets, or a gathering of teens in hoodies that make us tremble: Our 21st Century litany of what to fear.

But are these threats real? My series “Menace” challenges us to question what we “know.” “Menace” confronts us with frightening, darkened, wild animals that trigger the ancient instinct, while our rational mind knows we are in a safe, civilized space, viewing images.

We look longer, closer, and realize the threat was never there: these are taxidermied animals, their images captured in bright sunlit shops, manipulated later by the artist to ferocity. They frighten, but are impotent.

Menace asks us to consider if our modern fears are justified, or if our contemporary bogeymen are figments of our imagination, mere empty threats manipulated by an unseen hand.

Matthew Finley

This Too Shall Pass | This Polaroid series is a look back at my journey from pain to acceptance. Through the unreliable lens of memory, I am revisiting an emotional period of shame, fear and rejection, and later, love, desire, and home. These memories, conjured up time and time again over the years, fuzz and change, often leaving only impressions of a moment, an apparition. It’s these bygone feelings, these ghosts, that I’m trying to capture and in doing so, set them free. 

Instant film was prevalent at the time of my earliest remembrances. I can still glimpse my mother fanning a Polaroid photo of me on the steps of our mountain town church, waiting for it to develop. The circle, or looking glass, is a way through which I can see my past selves. There is also a completion to this circle, an acceptance of what was, and an understanding that those selves made me who I am today.

I share these filmy impressions in an effort to connect to others and maybe help them through their own difficulties, showing that one day they may look back on them and say, “Hello ghost, you don’t hurt me anymore.”

Becky Wilkes

Ditched | Society’s health and wealth might be judged not by the magnificence and abundance of its creations but by its regard for the environment and the discards of its citizens. Until we value that which we discard, it could be said that we are rich beyond measure.

"Ditched" explores the implications of our throwaway society through the examination of debris meticulously collected for one year during the drought of 2014 to 2015 from the shoreline of Eagle Mountain Lake, near Fort Worth, TX. Following in the footsteps of the archeologist, Augustus Rivers, who first insisted that all artifacts, not the just the beautiful or unique be collected and catalogued, I photographed every item found along one mile of newly exposed lakefront. These artifacts speak to me; I seek to understand them and account for each of them.

With the abundant runoff of the Spring 2015 flooding, and subsequent barrage of debris filling my immediate landscape, I began to realize the migratory nature of trash in our waterways flowing from our drainage ditches and roadways. Eagle Mountain Lake, while only 14 square miles in size, is fed by a watershed of over 850 square miles. Unlike the trash entering our oceans, this debris is trapped inland, restrained by lakes and dams. Individually, the collages reveal the variety, quantity and rate of disintegration of the materials contained in the lakefront. Collectively, they speak to our careless abandonment post gratification. Either by accidental or intentional action, we are being inundated on a massive scale by the individual fingerprints of personal choice.

Susan Rosenberg Jones

Building 1 | I have lived in the NYC neighborhood of Tribeca since 1984. My apartment is a rental – the complex I live in is one of 3 high- rise towers named Independence Plaza. I live on the 39th floor of “Building 1”, the northernmost of the three 39 story towers. The three towers and attached townhouses, erected in 1974, were intended to be luxury rentals, but at that time Tribeca was mostly non-residential. There were practically no grocery stores, pharmacies, and the like to support a residential community. It was considered a “pioneer” neighborhood. The only residents were artists in legal and illegal live/work lofts.

In order to attract occupants, the complex was converted to NY state subsidized middle-income housing until 2004 when the buildings were again sold and the subsidies were removed. Some tenants were forced out, others remained, and the vacated apartments were renovated and rented to new tenants paying premium market rents. The neighborhood had changed dramatically since the mid-1970s.

When my neighbors and I first moved into our apartments, we had to qualify officially as “middle income” – we are teachers, nurses, artists, musicians, civil servants, social workers, writers. We have rented in Manhattan for years, working to pay our rent and bills and enjoy life in New York. Many of us, like myself, raised our families here. The high cost of living has made it difficult to save for retirement, and many of us don’t own any real estate that can be sold for profit. We have contributed to the diversity of our neighborhood and our city.

For the past several years I have been photographing the original and long - term tenants of Independence Plaza. I am making portraits of residents in their apartments and in the common areas of the complex. My intention is to illustrate the distinctive mix of the people and the created comfort of their residences. Every apartment may have the same parquet floors and bathroom layouts, but people have in many cases transformed the mid-1070’s layouts into real homes. There's a real bond among the original tenants; we have seen each other's kids grow up, and have shown up for their funerals and joyous celebrations. When I visit my neighbors and photograph them, I listen to their stories about the neighborhood and realize how important it is to maintain this feeling of community in our city.

Jo Ann Chaus

The Exquisite State of Imbalance | Photography is the lens through which Jo Ann negotiates her world as a daily practice.

She is arrested by the brilliance and the darkness of the beauty before and within her, enmeshed with life’s complexities, relationships, expectations, disappointments, surprises, joys and desires, and with great curiosity and resiliency reaches and stretches herself using the deep, raw, and authentic places she accesses during the process of making her work.

These images are a selection from a series of performance driven work entitled "Conversations with Myself, The State of Exquisite Imbalance", where Jo Ann embodies assorted nineteen-fifties era women who are evaluating themselves and the roles they have performed over their lifetimes, with misplaced identities, as they search for it and discover, with courage, tenacity and perseverance, who they are.  The work is an homage to and a connection with women of all generations who struggle as wife or mother, juggling the demands of nurturing the family while finding time to nurture themselves, their desires, and their dignity. 

The work quietly alludes to the significant growth and metamorphosis, emotionally and psychologically, that is possible for all, with great reflection, consideration, and determination.

Glenna Jennings

At Table (2004-2019) | documents everyday spaces of expression and connection – dining rooms, kitchens, restaurants, bars and coffee tables. The series uses the messy contingency of plates and bottles and condiments to foreground human relationships performing for my lens, which navigates from a perspective that is local in depth but global in breadth. In locations including the USA, Mexico, Canada, China, Serbia and the UK, I have collected thousands of moments that capture friends, family and erstwhile strangers sharing time around food and drink in spaces where I am also an active participant.

My “tablescapes” offer subtle moments of drama and humor in which gestures, expressions and objects combine to perform as cultural artifacts and personal memories. I see the table as a space that can often transcend cultural barriers to become a place for authentic interaction. While the surface qualities that connect the photographs are largely formal – bold colors, exaggerated facial expressions, a consistent focal length - the series arose from the notion and need to forge diverse relationships outside the familial. For an only child, these photographs have come to represent an extended family that defies traditional definition.

On a broader level, the work offers a unique visual anthropology of everyday moments shared by a range of cultures, while also addressing how photographs may function in the realm of public culture as imperfect personal memories or shared histories. Ultimately, this series aims to connect, rather than solely critique, aspects of the human condition that collide and converge in a familiar, everyday place with an often untapped political potential – the table.

As an artist and educator, my work within the community often uses food culture as a means to address harder questions around social inequity. At Table presents a first-person narrative that uses the photograph as a fairly traditional, though purposefully performative, document. However, the images have been placed in the service of larger cultural conversations through exhibitions, community events, and educational activities.

My experiences in these discrete locations around the globe have resulted from my own privilege to move freely and access sustenance widely. I present spaces that fall within a fairly narrow socio-economic margin of neither extreme wealth nor destitution, while realizing this represents just a small portion of a global society where hunger is a very real issue.

My own photographed experiences, in all of their awkward beauty or chaotic authenticity, have all resulted from the hospitable acts of friends, family members, loved ones and mere acquaintances. I offer them as a small archive of the potential for radical hospitality, active togetherness, and the kindness of strangers to help alter the landscape of our polarized political climate. I offer them with the blatantly naïve but stubbornly fervent faith that sitting down together to share food and drink can change hearts, minds and worlds.

Kathy Anne Lim

Where Salt meets Ice | On a trip driving to Höfn, in south-east Iceland, our journey was defined by dramatic, ever-changing geography and unpredictable weather. Wind whistled and carved through the landscape, and we had to turn the steering wheel 11 degrees to the left to keep us travelling straight through the winter storms. Our headlights illuminated the swirling snow that filled the road ahead of us, bright against the black asphalt and dancing in synchronization with the lo-fi howl of the wind. The landscape changed around us, and I watched the grey sky begin to part in our rear-view mirror as sunbeams illuminated the edges of the clouds and we drove further into the storm.

Growing up against the backdrop of two glossy cities, Singapore and London, I found the otherworldly wilderness of Iceland captivating. Arriving in the tail-end of winter, layers of the landscape began to unfold before us as the melting snow unearthed sleeping grass and formed glacial pools of sapphire. But nature here is as brutal as it is beautiful. On Reynisdrangar beach, the frenzied, forceful winds dragged me backwards, whipping the sand around my feet and burying me into the black shore. In that out-of-control moment, I decided to surrender to this alluring yet violent place.

I decided to experiment by overlapping my photographs, these highlighted the vastness of the landscape, while also intriguing the viewer to speculate about what might beyond theimage surface. The project was a strategic attempt to examine the landscape I encountered. Informed by encounters, personal affection and experiences, this series allowed me to make sense of an emotional landscape riddled with stories.

Jaime Alvarez

Lee’s Retreat | While driving through central Virginia in 2016, a sign caught my eye. The sign was for Lee’s Retreat Highway, a self guided tour one could take to view the various locations of the final days of the Civil War. The particular route I was one also lead me to several small towns that at one time had importance as part of the general infrastructure and coal business to the region. It is also intertwined with the Civil Rights in Education Heritage trail, pointing out locations where African Americans, Native Americans and women developed the right to an education equivalent of white males. 

These small towns while exhibiting signs of decline, the ghost of a strong American Industry is still persistent. 

Burkeville VA, population of 405 (estimated) serves as the junction of the Norfolk and Western Railway and the Norfolk Southern Railway. 

Crewe VA, population of 2171 (estimated) was founded as a central steam locomotive repair depot, and named after the large railroad town of Crewe, England. The town of Crewe has faced large economic decline in the past years, but still houses a small railroad museum dedicated to the work the Norfolk Southern Railway’s history. 

Victoria VA, population of 1642 (estimated) is largely employed be the Lunenberg Correctional Center, which opened in 1995, and was founded in 1906 during the construction fo the Tidewater Railway, which later on merged to become part of the Norfolk and Western Railway which in 1997 was merged into the Norfolk Southern Railway.