Faculty

Andrew Moore's "Blue Sweep"

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Blue Sweep, an exhibition of new photographs taken in Alabama and Mississippi by American artist and MFA Photo/Video faculty Andrew Moore, is on view this month at Yancey Richardson Gallery in New York. Following in-depth explorations of the economically ravaged city of Detroit (2007 – 2009) and the mythic high plains region along the 100th meridian (2011 – 2014), Blue Sweep continues the artist’s investigation of “the inner empire” of the United States.

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The result of twelve trips over three years, Moore’s work in the American South uses historic homes, both grand and modest, the preserved backroom of a Jewish social club, the curtained entry to a Freemason’s temple, a worm-eaten map of Hale County and a ruined bridge in a verdant swamp to suggest the economic, social and cultural divisions that characterize the South and the love of history, tradition and land that binds its citizens. The exhibition juxtaposes three different views of domestic dwellings which allude to these themes: the richly adorned library of a grand plantation house; a modest bare-floor bedroom decorated with emblems of God and country hung on unpainted wooden walls; and a remote trailer home with a dirt swept yard, a traditional landscaping practice brought to the south by West African slaves.

The son of a Connecticut architect, Moore has frequently used architectural structures as a means to explore themes of time, culture and a complicated history of place. While he has often undertaken a study of place on the verge of change - the shuttered theaters of New York’s 42nd Street preceding its remaking as a vortex of consumerism, Havana just prior to the suspension of U.S. travel restrictions and early post-Cold War Russia before the embrace of western capitalism - the images in the exhibition Blue Sweep suggest a place lost in time and in full embrace of the old.

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Born in 1957, Andrew Moore lives and works in New York City. His work has been featured in solo and group museum exhibitions at the National Gallery of Art, the Akron Art Museum, the Queens Museum of Art, Colby College Museum of Art, and the National Building Museum, Washington D.C. He will be featured in upcoming exhibitions at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the San Francisco Museum of Art. Moore’s photographs have been acquired by numerous museums in the United States and internationally, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Library of Congress, the Israel Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Yale University Art Gallery, and the Detroit Institute of Arts, among others. Five monographs of his work have been published: Inside Havana (2002, Chronicle), Russia (2005, Chronicle), Detroit Disassembled (2010, Damiani), and Andrew Moore: Cuba (2012, Damiani). In 2019, Damiani will release Blue Alabama, a monograph on Moore’s work in the American South.

Penelope Umbrico in conversation with Lyle Rexer

Accomplished writer, curator, art critic and MFA Photo/ Video faculty member Lyle Rexer had the chance to sit down with fellow faculty member and artist Penelope Umbrico to discuss Umbrico's work in the upcoming November/ December issue of "Photograph Magazine." As Rexer states, "Penelope Umbrico is that rare artist who has built a significant reputation largely through public commissions and installations at institutions from the Musee des Beaux Arts in Le Locle, Switzerland, to New York City's Grand Central Station.

Umbrico currently has two works on display simultaneously around New York. First, her wall installation in the exhibition Anna Atkins Refracted is part of the New York Public Library's 175th-year celebration of the English cyanotypist (through January 6). Lastly, her installation Monument, a collection of, among other elements, disassembled television screens, is featured at BRIC Media House, the Brooklyn art and performance space (November 29- January 20)."

Installation view of Umbrico’s work

Installation view of Umbrico’s work

Penelope Umbrico offers a radical reinterpretation of everyday consumer and vernacular images. She works “within the virtual world of consumer marketing and social media, traveling through the relentless flow of seductive images, objects, and information that surrounds us, searching for decisive moments—but in these worlds, decisive moments are cultural absurdities," finding these moments in the pages of consumer product mail-order catalogs, travel and leisure brochures; and websites like Craigslist, EBay, and Flickr."

As Umbrico states in her interview with Rexer, "The internet changed everything. For one, it gave me access to unlimited source material, and the screen became my studio, in a sense. And living and working through the screen made it become part of what the work is about."

For the full interview, visit Photograph Magazine for the November/December issue.

Kevin Cooley's "Smoke & Mirrors" at Laney Contemporary

Laney Contemporary introduces Smoke & Mirrors an immersive video installation by Los Angeles based artist and MFA Photo/ Video faculty Kevin Cooley. The piece will be on view through June 9th, 2018. For more information, please click here.

A time-based multimedia installation, Smoke & Mirrors physically manifests a frequent, and recurring, political dialogue taking place on Twitter. Each time a tweet containing the term ‘smoke and mirrors’ is posted online, billowing clouds of fog immediately stream through the gallery’s darkened and mirrored environment, obscuring one’s ability to see across the room. Appearing as white projected letters, the text of these tweets float nebulously through the air onto the mist while also reflecting onto the surrounding mirrors. Lingering for a moment until dissipating into obscurity, this action repeats dozens of times an hour on average, mimicking the short-lived relevance of any singular tweet among the 350 million that are posted every day.

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The hashtag #smokeandmirrors is most often used as an expression of horror, dissatisfaction, and skepticism of the current state of American political affairs, and the work’s implicit connection to the political realm is further elevated by the room’s alleged political history. Built by the original owner as a private entertaining space, this unique mirrored room was reportedly used by Jesse Jackson’s campaign during his presidential bids.

As the tweets build up over the day, highlighting Twitter’s collective, yet largely invisible presence, the room becomes increasingly murky and mysterious. The piece provides a visualization of social media’s power to connect us, while also underlining the increasing difficulty in distinguishing truth and relevance in the online world.

In addition to Cooley’s installation, Laney Contemporary will exhibit six related photographs. These images of caves, explosion craters, and smoke columns highlight dark undertones in the current state of our environmental and political affairs.

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Also on view across the country in Portland, the PDX Art Program is presenting a selection of ten large scale photographs fromCooley’s series titled Nachtfluge (German for night flight) which depicts long exposure photography of the light trails made by commercial aircraft in the dark skies of nighttime. Cooley’s exhibition will be on view through November 4th of 2018 and is located at pre-security in the International Arrivals area of North Baggage Claim

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Kevin Cooley (b. 1975 Los Angeles) is a multi-disciplinary artist using photography, video, and installation, he creates frameworks through which to observe experimental and performative gestures to decipher our complex, evolving relationships to nature, to technology, and ultimately to each other. His photographic series Nachtfluge is currently on view at Portland International Airport, and At Light’s Edge is prominently featured in the most recent issue of Aesthetica Magazine. His work is in the permanent collections of The Guggenheim Museum, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, 21c Museum, The Nelson-Atkins Museum and The Museum of Photographic Arts.

Credit: Press Release Laney Contemporary; PDX Art Port of Portland

Shimon Attie exhibition at The School by Jack Shainman Gallery

Faculty member Shimon Attie is featured in the the fourth anniversary of Jack Shainman's The School. Attie's work will be showcased along with a concurrent series of solo exhibitions by Nina Chanel Abney, Math Bass, Valérie Blass, Vibha Galhotra, Brad Kahlhamer, Margaret Kilgallen, Lyne Lapointe, Gordon Parks, and Leslie Wayne. The exhibitions will run through October 6th, 2018 at The School located at 25 Broad Street in Kinderhook, NY.

For more information on the featured artists and works, please click here.

The artwork, Lost in Space (After Huck), combines cast resin sculpture w/a multi-channel video and sound environment to create an immersive Installation. For Lost in Space, I drew inspiration from the St. Louis Art Museum’s proximity both to the Mississippi River and to Ferguson, MO. The artwork conflates Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn – in part an allegory on 19th century American race relations- with present-day first responder/community relations. A sculpture of a hybrid raft/police vehicle appears to float in “celestial space”. Yet the surrounding video is actually animated still images of American cities shot at nighttime by NASA satellites above. Rather then looking up at the nighttime sky, we are actually looking down at American cities where many of these issues remain alive.

installation shot courtesy of Shimon Attie

installation shot courtesy of Shimon Attie

Steel Stillman in exhibition 'Defamiliarization' at Studio 10

Opening May 18th, 2018, 'Defamiliarization' at Studio 10 will feature the works of Gary Stephan, Susan Wides and faculty member and artist Steel Stillman.

For more information and hours, please click here.

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Steel Stillman was born in New York City in 1955. Recent New York group exhibitions include Foundation Barbin Presents Sort Of at Kai Matsumiya Gallery, and Cuts Noon Light at Brian Morris Gallery. In 2014, he had solo exhibitions at Galerie van Gelder, Amsterdam, and Show Room, Brooklyn. He is also a writer and a contributing editor at Art in America.

image courtesy of Studio 10

image courtesy of Studio 10

Laura Parnes' Tour Without End screening at the Kitchen

The Kitchen, is proud to present a screening of Laura Parnes’ multiplatform project/film, Tour Without End (Twenty-One Portraits and a Protest). Directed and produced by Laura Parnes, and written in collaboration with the film’s participants, Tour Without End casts real-life musicians and artists as fictional bands on tour that evolves into a cross generational commentary on culture, identity and politics in the Trump era. The work revels in the sometimes hilarious— but always complex —band dynamics the characters endure in touring, collaborating, and aging in a youth-driven music industry. As the players move in and out of fictionalized characters and real life, the film moves in and out of non-linear narrative and historical document.

Top: pictured from left to right; Jim Fletcher, Matthew Asti, Lizzi Bougatsos, Kate Valk. Bottom: Shannon Funchess, Gary Indiana, Alexandra Drewchin, Neon Music, and Alessandra Genovese.

Top: pictured from left to right; Jim Fletcher, Matthew Asti, Lizzi Bougatsos, Kate Valk.
Bottom: Shannon Funchess, Gary Indiana, Alexandra Drewchin, Neon Music, and Alessandra Genovese.

The piece will be shown on June 11 at 8pm with live musicians including BB TAY VEE, Macy Rodman, and JD Samson with Michael O'Neill, Roddy Bottum, Caitlin Frame and Lee Free will accompany this screening.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please click here.

Pictured left to right: Kate Valk, Jim Fletcher

Pictured left to right: Kate Valk, Jim Fletcher

Shot in real environments and situations over the course of 4 years between 2014-2018, at over 15 DIY music spaces in and around NYC, Tour Without End functions as a time capsule made more apparent by the shuttering of many of the film’s locations due to NYC’s rapid gentrification. The film’s multitude of characters are legendary performers in the downtown NYC arts scene including Wooster Group founder Kate Valk, Jim Fletcher (The NYC Players), musicians Lizzi Bougatsos, (Gang Gang Dance), Kathleen Hanna (The Julie Ruin), Brontez Purnell (The Younger Lovers), Eileen Myles, Alexandra Drewchin (Eartheater), Nicole Eisenman, K8 Hardy, Johanna Fateman (Le Tigre) Shannon Funchess (Light Asylum), JD Samson (MEN), Gary Indiana, Kembra Pfahler, (Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black), Rachel Mason, Tom McGrath, Matthew Asti (MGMT), Becca Blackwell, Christen Clifford, Alessandra Genovese (Crush), Rogelio Ramos (Love Pig), Kenya Robinson (Cheeky LaShae) and Neon Music (Youth Quake).

Faculty member and artist, Laura Parnes’ critically acclaimed films and installations address counter-cultural and youth-culture references where the music is integral to the work. For over twenty years these large-scale cinematic installations have engaged numerous notable individuals in her complex and ambitious collaborations. She has screened and exhibited her work widely in the US and internationally, including: Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; MoMA PS1, NY; Miami Museum of Contemporary Art, FL; Brooklyn Museum; Deste Foundation for Contemporary Art, Athens; The International Film Festival Rotterdam, Rotterdam, Netherlands; and Museo Nacional Centro De Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; and NY and on PBS and Spanish Television. She recently had solo exhibitions at LA><, data-preserve-html-node="true" LA, Participant Inc., Fitzroy Gallery, and solo screenings at the Museum of Modern Art and The Kitchen, New York City. Parnes is a 2013 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellow, a 2014 NYFA recipient, and a 2016 Creative Capital Awardee. Video Data Bank published a box set of her work, and Participant Press published a book of her scripts titled ‘Blood and Guts in Hollywood: Two Screenplays’ by Laura Parnes with an introduction by Chris Kraus. She has also directed music videos for The Julie Ruin and Le Tigre.

Alum, Angeliki Tsotsoni's debut album featuring photography from Charles H. Traub

Cover photo -&nbsp;Rome, 1981 from the project Dolce Via: Italy in the 1980s by Charles H.&nbsp;Traub

Cover photo - Rome, 1981 from the project Dolce Via: Italy in the 1980s by Charles H. Traub

The Greek brother-sister duo , Ocean Hope aka Serafim and class of 2009 alumni Angeliki Tsotsonis share "Devotion", the first lush taste of their debut album Rolling Days. The LP will be released on vinyl, CD, and digitally via Hush Hush Records on May 25th, 2018.

Rolling Days serves as the proper follow-up to their breakthrough 2015 debut release Chamber Dreams, a 4-track EP that introduced Ocean Hope’s romantic dream-pop sound in mysterious, shadowy, intimate fashion. For the past few years, the duo have stayed busy tinkering away in their home studios, recording ideas at Angeliki’s home in the small seaside town of Nerantza on the Corinthian Gulf, as well as at Serafim’s studio in the metropolitan of Athens. Steadily evolving and crafting their own unique style of dream-pop, Rolling Days proudly embraces a confident shift away from the hushed aesthetic of their debut in favor of a more direct, bold, and magnetic sound.

To listen to the album and purchase your copy, please click here.

In his book Dolce Via: Italy in the 1980s, photographer and Department Chair Charles H. Traub (born 1945) turns his emphatically American gaze upon the streets and byways of Italy, from Milan to Marsala. Traub’s brilliant blues, reds and yellows accent the baroque posturing and gestures of strangers and ordinary people. Traub’s friend and guide, the late photographer Luigi Ghirri, said of the imagery, "you see our foibles, strip us bare, make love through the camera and then venerate us." Dolce Via is the first comprehensive collection of these vivid color photographs, which were made in Italy during the early 1980s. This publication includes contributions from American art critic, photographer and founding editor of Artforum, Max Kozloff, and the Italian poet, Luigi Ballerini.

To see more from the series, please click here.

Venice, 1981 from the project Dolce Via: Italy in the 1980s by Charles H. Traub

Venice, 1981 from the project Dolce Via: Italy in the 1980s by Charles H. Traub

Faculty, Andrew Moore featured on The Bitter Southerner

Blue Alabama

Photographs and Words by Andrew Moore

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Forty years ago this August, Madison Bell and I were at the end of a month-long road trip across the South when we stopped off to visit his friend Carroll in Opelika, Alabama.

One afternoon, she took us outside town to where a house had just burned down. Most of the structure was gone except for an old stove; on top, a handful of utensils had turned molten in the heat and melted almost flat into the iron top. In a nearby hayfield, we found an abandoned car stuffed with brightly colored clothes, and after we each picked something to put on, we played in the growing darkness, like owners of the place.

Grounds of the Snow Hill Institute in Snow Hill,&nbsp;  Alabama,&nbsp;2017

Grounds of the Snow Hill Institute in Snow Hill, Alabama, 2017

From far off, we saw a car’s headlights come on, watched it come down the dirt road all the way to us like a shot, barely braking before it pulled into the driveway. A middle-aged black man got out, fixed on our ghastly troupe with undisguised anger and yelling, “What y’all doin’ in my clothes?”

The stench of smoke in my mouth suddenly dissolved into the taste of fear. Carroll’s voice pitched high with innocence and apologies, the clothes regained the trunk, and amidst a cascade of his curses, we shrank into the darkness like those pooling forks and spoons.

“House for Sale,” Eufaula,&nbsp;  Alabama,&nbsp;2016
“House for Sale,” Eufaula, Alabama, 2016
“Gaines House,” Dayton,&nbsp;  Alabama,&nbsp;2016
“Gaines House,” Dayton, Alabama, 2016

In the four decades since, I’ve hardly ever been threatened by a property owner, and I never again went around in burned houses with other people’s clothes on.

Usually, it all goes much better if one gets a little conversation going first, but in the South I would say that’s a moral imperative. Fortunately it’s not too hard to get a discussion going, especially if the “magnolia connection” is working: Since so many families are intertwined in their histories and relations, there is inevitably some overlap that can be counted on. Otherwise, when meeting strangers in the South, its best to be humble, not in much of a hurry, and above all, to be a ready listener.

To continue reading Moore's writings on his time in the south, please click here.

Geneva Ward in Boligee,&nbsp;  Alabama 2016
Geneva Ward in Boligee, Alabama 2016

Andrew Moore is an American photographer and filmmaker known for large format color photographs of Detroit, Cuba, Russia, the American High Plains, and New York’s Times Square theaters. Moore’s photographs employ the formal vocabularies of architectural and landscape photography and the narrative approaches of documentary photography and journalism to detail remnants of societies in transition. His photographic essays have been published in monographs, anthologies, and magazines including The New York Times MagazineTimeThe New YorkerNational GeographicHarper’s MagazineThe New York Review of BooksFortuneWired, and Art in America. Moore’s video work has been featured on PBS and MTV; his feature-length documentary about the artist Ray Johnson, “How to Draw a Bunny,” won the Special Jury Prize at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival.