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2015 Exhibitions

FOTOFEST  presents

July 9 - August 29, 2015

FotoFest at Silver Street Studios
2000 Edwards Street, Houston, Texas 77007

Zackary Drucker and Rhys Ernst, Relationship #35 (Pygmalion), 2008-2014. Courtesy of the artists and Luis De Jesus Los Angeles

 

ARTISTS

Zackary Drucker & Rhys Ernst (USA)


Sunil Gupta (India/UK)


Lindsay Morris (USA)


Frédéric Nauczyciel (France)


Irina Popova (Russia)


Anna Charlotte Schmid (Germany)


Paul Mpagi Sepuya (USA)


Charan Singh (India/UK)


“I am a camera with its shutter open, quite passive, recording, not thinking… Some day, all this will have to be developed, carefully printed, fixed.” - Christopher Isherwood, Goodbye to Berlin

Taking its cue from Christopher Isherwood’s introduction to Goodbye to Berlin, an observation of the narrator’s milieu and the effects wrought upon it by acute political and social upheaval, I Am A Camera is about representation, sexual orientation, gender identity expression, society, and community. The members of the communities pictured self-identify across a broad spectrum of sexuality, gender roles, race, class, culture and politics. A diverse, multifaceted population, they resist generalization and traditional, normative expectations. As such, LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Queer) communities have defined - and continually redefine - themselves on their own terms.
We remember the 1990s as the age of identity politics, promulgating myriad projects looking at race and gender – and sometimes dealing with sexual orientation. This begs the question “why make this LGBTQ exhibition now?” Despite a rich history of presenting LGBTQ artists and a deep engagement with social issues and progress, this exhibition is a first for FotoFest. In development for the last 18 months, the project focuses on a spectrum of identities and expression through the lens of community. In retrospect, the theme is timely and cogent once again. Through the globalization of contemporary communications and the introduction of technologies such as social media, we are more aware of and informed about the situations of LGBTQ communities worldwide – giving us the opportunity and impetus to explore these queer topics at FotoFest, investigating widely and rigorously while continuing to defy expectations.
I Am A Camera is an exhibition that performs as a conduit for sexual orientation and gender identity expression within the context of community. The nine artists – hailing from the United States, United Kingdom, India, France, Germany and Russia - explore a number of humanist themes, including relationships, self-realization and determination, isolation, class struggle, community and the creation of safe space(s). Their works encompass traditional black & white photography, contemporary staged photography, film, video and installation work. They represent a wide spectrum of sexual orientation and gender identity expression.
In late June 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States announced its historic decision to grant legal status to same-sex marriage across all 50 states of the union. This decision, Obergefell v. Hodges, comes less than thirty years after Bowers v. Hardwick, the Supreme Court decision that in 1986 affirmed the right of individual states to criminalize gay sex. This is a remarkable, almost radical, evolution in such a short period of time. We have witnessed a similar evolution in the way we, as a culture, view and treat the expression of gender identity.
Although the works presented in I Am A Camera span a four-decade time period, beginning with Greenwich Village during the gay liberation movement of the 1970s, the exhibition avoids historical survey. Its predominant focus is on work produced within the last five years, exhibiting a broad range of global artistic research that explores strategies of survival, the articulation of difference, and the wealth to be found in community.
The shutter is open. The artists are recording.
Steven Evans
FotoFest Executive Director and Exhibition Curator
> Press Release
> Gallery Guide

Lindsay Morris, Untitled from the series You are You, 2007-2012. Courtesy of the artist


EVENTS

Opening Reception with Artists

Thursday, July 9, 6-8pm
FotoFest at Silver Street Studios, 2000 Edwards Street
With artists Sunil Gupta, Anna Charlotte Schmid, Paul Mpagi Sepuya and Charan Singh

Saturday Matinée Artist Talks

Saturday, July 11, 11am
FotoFest at Silver Street Studios, 2000 Edwards Street
With artists Sunil Gupta, Anna Charlotte Schmid, Paul Mpagi Sepuya and Charan Singh

Saturday Matinée Artist Films - presented in conjunction with QFest Houston

Saturday, July 25, 4pm
FotoFest at Silver Street Studios, 2000 Edwards Street
Including She Gone Rogue (2012) by Zackary Drucker & Rhys Ernst; Do I Know You? (2014) by Charan Singh; A Baroque Ball (2013) by Frederic Nauczyciel; and Paris is Burning (1991) by Jennie Livingston
A reception follows the screenings.

You Are You: Families with youth questioning their gender identity

Saturday, August 8, 11am
FotoFest at Silver Street Studios, 2000 Edwards Street
Panel discussion with artist Lindsay Morris and guests

Curator Tour

Saturday, August 22, 2pm
FotoFest at Silver Street Studios, 2000 Edwards Street
With exhibition organizer and FotoFest Executive Director Steven Evans

Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Studio, April 26, 2011. Courtesy of the artist and Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town/Johannesburg, South Africa


EXHIBITION TOURS FOR GROUPS

FotoFest welcomes groups (youth to adult) to connect with the issues and art of our global landscape. Led by FotoFest staff members, these tours are catered to meet the needs of your individual group and feature a guided experience up to one hour. Student tours may include activities connecting writing, visual literacy, creative thinking and more. Tours are free with pre-registration. Please call Glenn Bailey at 713.223.5522 x 11 or email ltp@fotofest.org.

VOLUNTEER

FotoFest relies on the generous participation of volunteers. Opportunities exist for volunteering at FotoFest exhibitions and events throughout the week - on both weekdays and weekends. If you are available and willing to donate your time and enthusiasm to FotoFest, please contact us at info@fotofest.org.

 

Sunil Gupta, Connaught Place, from the series Exiles, 1986. Courtesy of the artist and SepiaEYE, New York, USA


I AM A CAMERA EXHIBITION SPONSORS
Lee Anthony and J. Travis Capps Jr.; Bill Arning and Mark McCray; Michael A. Chesser; Susan Oliver Heard; David J. Klonkowski; Stevenson Gallery, CapeTown/Johannesburg, South Africa; Eliane Thweatt; George J. Toland III; and anonymous donors.

FOTOFEST 2014-2015 ART PROGRAMS SEASON SPONSORS
Houston Endowment Inc; City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance; National Endowment for the Arts; Texas Commission on the Arts; The Wortham Foundation; FotoFest Board of Directors; Judith and Gamble Baldwin; Robert Gerry III; William and Rosalie Hitchcock; European Photography Magazine; HexaGroup; Houston Public Media; and iLand Internet Solutions; and Silver Street Studios

FOTOFEST ANNUAL APPEAL
Special thanks to supporters of FotoFest’s inaugural Annual Appeal, including lead donors Christiane Olsen; John S. Parsley; Thomas Damsgaard; William E. Joor III; The Chaney Foundation; John E. Parkerson; Gregory and Lisa Spier; A.D. Stuart and Robin Stuart; and the Erla & Harry Zuber Fund

 

 

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