Martha Fleming-Ives

Alumni featured in exhibition The Blue of Distance at Transmitter Gallery

“The color of that distance is the color of an emotion, the color of solitude and of desire, the color of there seen from here, the color of where you are not. And the color where you can never go.” – Rebecca Solnit

Transmitter Gallery is pleased to announce The Blue of Distance, an exhibition of emerging artists who disrupt conventional notions of identity and address themes of alienation in their work, by operating within the space between connection and distance. Taking its title from an essay by Rebecca Solnit, which explores the color blue’s role as a metaphor for longing and desire, this exhibition features works reflecting personal narratives of isolation from larger communities due to race, gender, religion, mental health, or social inequality.

The opening reception will take place on Friday September 15 from 6-9pm with the exhibition running through October 15, 2017. For more details, please click here.

Still from 3017. Image courtesy of Melvin Harper. 

Still from 3017. Image courtesy of Melvin Harper. 

In class of 2017 alumni Melvin Harper’s films he addresses race, gender, and identity, examining what it’s like to be perceived as an African-American man in the United States. Weaving together appropriated imagery from cell phone videos, dash cams, news footage, early science-fiction films, and Google searches, Harper considers issues of visibility and perception. In Harper’s films, conceived as a trilogy, his own disillusion with markers of identity and racial inequality are present—African-American men are juxtaposed to aliens, stuffed in cages, and unnecessarily brutalized because of their perceived otherness. Harper will be showing 3 films during the exhibition including his thesis 3017. 

Still from Sign Language. Courtesy of Melvin Harper. 

Still from Sign Language. Courtesy of Melvin Harper. 

Photographer, educator and class of 2009 alumni Maureen Drennan has always been drawn to vulnerable people or communities that are isolated from mainstream society. Earlier this year, she met and photographed Arab women who have all endured various types of discrimination. In photographing young Arab-American women, she was interested in dispelling otherness. In The Blue of Distance, Drennan’s work focuses on one of her subjects, Adam. Adam is hijra, a transgender female of Pakistani descent.

Nesting from the project Ordinary Devotion. Image courtesy of Martha Fleming-Ives. 

Nesting from the project Ordinary Devotion. Image courtesy of Martha Fleming-Ives. 

Martha Fleming-Ives grew up in Northampton, MA and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY. Her work has been exhibited at Silver Eye Center for Photography, Center for Photography at Woodstock, Weatherspoon Art Museum, John Michael Kohler Arts Center, and Griffin Museum of Photography. A 2010 graduate of the MFA Photo, Video and Related Media she is currently an Adjunct Professor in the Honors Program at the School of Visual Arts, NY. 

The exhibition, The Blue of Distance is curated by alum, Kate Greenberg (class of 2010)

Martha Fleming-Ives ORDINARY DEVOTION at A.P.E. GALLERY

A.P.E is pleased to present Ordinary Devotion, an exhibition of new photographs by Martha Fleming-Ives. Taken during the artist’s first year of motherhood and her daughter’s infancy, Ordinary Devotion depicts her early experiences as a mother through images of her growing child, her changing body, and the domestic space immediately surrounding them. Over the past several years, Fleming-Ives’ photographic practice has focused upon unflinching portraits of members of her family, at times capturing vulnerable periods of transition and growth. Here, Fleming-Ives turns her lens to herself, identifying the mother-child relationship as a familial point of origin. Taking its title from English pediatrician and psychoanalyst D.W. Winnicott’s statement that an “ordinary devoted mother”—present rather than perfect—is enough for the healthy development of a child, Fleming-Ives’ series acts as a negotiation between the seemingly opposite mundane tasks of daily life tending to an infant and the blissful, often spiritual, sensuality present in caring for a new child.

Fleming-Ives’ photographs, taken with a medium format film camera, are largely confined to a quiet and still apartment, often cast with squares of warm afternoon light, and defined by objects relating both to a child’s development—rainbow toys strewn about the floor—and a mother’s—a guide to labor and childbirth entitled Birth. The conversion of the domestic space to studio by necessity speaks to the heightened sense of isolation and alienation a new mother can feel towards the outside world and in her new role as round-the-clock care-taker. Fleming-Ives portrays both blissful interactions with her child alongside physiological stresses of post-pregnancy, and demonstrates motherhood as practiced and learned over time, rather than automatic and immediate upon a child’s birth. Layering meanings of “women’s work”—that of mother and that of artist—Fleming-Ives steps into the latter to illuminate the former, expanding the art historical theme of motherhood to include its effect on female identity, while newly exploring her own negotiation between the two roles. This idea is perhaps best articulated in the work Motherhood: The Reference Library, a shelf containing a collection of books that question what motherhood means to those who define themselves as mothers, and were meaningful to the artist while making this project.

Martha Fleming-Ives was born in 1983 and grew up in Northampton, MA. Her work has been exhibited at Silver Eye Center for Photography, Center for Photography at Woodstock, John Michael Kohler Arts Center, and Griffin Museum of Photography. She currently teaches in the Honors Program at the School of Visual Arts, NY, and is working on her first book of photographs with German publisher Kehrer Verlag.

http://www.marthaflemingives.com

August 8-25, 2017     Ordinary Devotion   A photography installation by  Martha Fleming-Ives  August 8 – August 26, 2017 Artist Reception: Friday, August 11 , 6 - 8 pm

August 8-25, 2017

Ordinary Devotion
A photography installation by Martha Fleming-Ives
August 8 – August 26, 2017
Artist Reception: Friday, August 11 , 6 - 8 pm